Pizza wars! Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter has blamed NFL protests as the reason for a recent decrease in sales — and DiGiorno Pizza is taking aim at its fellow pizza company over the comments.
DiGiorno, a frozen pizza seller, began joking about the situation on Twitter on Wednesday, replying to fans with hilarious pizza puns and even changed their bio to: “Better Pizza. Better Sales. It’s DiGiorno.”
— DiGiorno Pizza (@DiGiornoPizza) November 1, 2017
On Wednesday, November 1, Schnatter told investors that the football league’s “poor leadership” is behind the pizza chain’s sales slump. “We are totally disappointed that the NFL and its leadership did not resolve the ongoing situation to the satisfaction of all parties long ago,” Schnatter said, according to Business Insider.
”The controversy is polarizing the customer, polarizing the country,” the CEO said, referring to players taking a knee during the national anthem as a form of protesting police brutality and racial inequality, which started with Colin Kaepernick in September 2016. “This should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago,” Schnatter said. ”Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership.”
The company said it has also begun cutting back on marketing that promotes their partnership with the NFL, hoping it keeps them from being associated with the controversy. On the other hand, Business Insider reported that CEO of Pizza Hut’s parent company Yum Brands, Greg Creed, told investors on Thursday, November 2, that “we’re not seeing impact on any of that on our business.”
Some customers also took to social media to call out Schnatter for his comments and to publicly call out the company. Chrissy Teigen even joined in on the fun, tweeting: “I guess trying to find a non-racist pizza is our new world, everyone.”
I guess trying to find a non-racist pizza is our new world, everyone
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) November 2, 2017
Scroll through to see some hilarious tweets about Papa John’s recent controversy.
Papa Johns: Protests are hurting our sales.
Pizza Hut: pic.twitter.com/IV6aO2lGto
— O'Le Dewitt (@TheUncleToe) November 2, 2017
Seeing papa Johns shoot themselves in the foot got Pizza Hut like pic.twitter.com/PbvjC4UqfH
— jiggaman (@slickpimpin21) November 2, 2017
Things are truly bleak when frozen pizza starts coming for your neck. pic.twitter.com/SDtBppKEJa
— king crissle (@crissles) November 2, 2017
What a time pic.twitter.com/7A8zGUsoiO
— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) November 1, 2017
— Brandon Gates (@TheBGates) November 2, 2017
Just read about the #PapaJohns uproar! I'm shocked! Shocked that so many of you still eat that ketchup covered cardboard they call pizza.
— Paquito (パキトー) – Ⓥ (@pakito_tweets) November 2, 2017