Papa John’s pizza condemns white su­prem­a­cists

USA TODAY US Edition - - SPORTS - Thomas Novelly The (Louisville) Courier-Jour­nal USA TO­DAY Net­work

“We con­demn racism in all forms and any and all hate groups that sup­port it. We do not want th­ese in­di­vid­u­als or groups to buy our pizza.”

Peter Collins Se­nior di­rec­tor of pub­lic re­la­tions at Papa John’s

Papa John’s pizza has a new cus­tomer, the alt-right.

In the days after a rant by Papa John’s CEO and Louisville res­i­dent John Sch­nat­ter in which he blamed the NFL and an­them protests for low sales, a white su­prem­a­cist pub­li­ca­tion claimed it as its of­fi­cial pizza.

In a blog post at the Daily Stormer, a photo of pizza with pep­per­o­nis ar­ranged in a swastika has a cap­tion that reads “Papa John: Of­fi­cial pizza of the alt-right?”

“This might be the first time ever in mod­ern his­tory that a ma­jor in­sti­tu­tion is go­ing to be com­pletely de­stroyed ex­plic­itly be­cause of pub­lic out­rage over their anti-White agenda,” Daily Stormer writer Adrian Sol said.

Peter Collins, the se­nior di­rec­tor of pub­lic re­la­tions at Papa John’s, said the com­pany was taken off-guard by the en­dorse­ment.

“We con­demn racism in all forms and any and all hate groups that sup­port it,” Collins told The Courier-Jour­nal. “We do not want th­ese in­di­vid­u­als or groups to buy our pizza.”

Papa John’s re­leased third-quar­ter sales fig­ures last week that show di­min­ished rates of growth at es­tab­lished North Amer­i­can lo­ca­tions: 1.5% this year as op­posed to a pro­jected 2% to 4% in­crease.

In 2016, North Amer­i­can sales in­creased 5.5% dur­ing the same pe­riod.

Papa John’s NAS­DAQ shares fell 8.5% last week and are down 23% on the year as the com­pany low­ers its growth ex­pec­ta­tions.

The com­pany did not re­turn a Couri- er-Jour­nal re­quest for com­ment.

The Daily Stormer en­dorse­ment fol­lows a flood of crit­i­cism from other pizza com­pa­nies as well.

Pizza Hut has said that protests in the NFL have not hurt sales, ac­cord­ing to Business In­sider.

“We’re not see­ing im­pact on any of that on our business,” Greg Creed, CEO of Pizza Hut’s par­ent com­pany Yum Brands, said in a call with in­vestors Thurs­day.

Yum Brands is head­quar­tered in

Louisville.

DiGiorno Pizza’s Twit­ter ac­count also took aim at the Louisville-based pizza com­pany.

“Bet­ter Pizza. Bet­ter Sales,” DiGiorno tweeted.

Sch­nat­ter USA TO­DAY

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