Papa John's apologizes for comments made about National Football League players

Papa John's fights neo-Nazi backlash with middle-finger emoji

"The controversy is polarizing the customer, polarizing the country".

Papa John's profits fell short of third-quarter estimates, and its stock fell to a three-month low early in November.

The pizza chain used its Twitter page Tuesday to apologize to anyone who thought talk stemming from the company's quarterly conference call almost two weeks ago was meant to be divisive. "That definitely was not our intention".

In a series of tweets, the company said they believe in the right to protest inequality and support the players' movement to create change. "Except neo-nazis - expletive those guys". When you acknowledge that the kneeling protests ONE thing only, specifically police brutality against minorities and that the protests do not disrespect either the military nor our flag, THEN I MIGHT consider eating your s***ty pizza again.

Schnatter also blamed commissioner of the NFL Roger Goodell for allowing demonstrations to continue which he believes are turning football fans away from the games and those expensive pizza ads.

The apology came two weeks after Schnatter, during an earnings call for the company, expressed disappointment about the league's ongoing player protests during the national anthem.

Papa John's fights neo-Nazi backlash with middle-finger emoji
Papa John's Apologizes for 'Divisive' Comments

"Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership", Schnatter said.

"The NFL leadership has hurt Papa John's shareholders".

Despite the pizza chain's efforts Tuesday to address the criticism over those remarks, some social media users weren't convinced.

Shares of Papa John's stock are down almost 12 percent since the earnings call. "I don't see an apology for that".

According to Papa John's Spokesman Peter Collins, the company tweeted these statements because they failed to adequately convey their true sentiments two weeks ago.

The NFL couldn't immediately be reached for comment late Tuesday.

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