A couple weeks after CEO John Schnatter blamed the NFL for sagging pizza sales, Papa John's is trying to tone down the vitriol.
Tuesday, the company apologized, said it supports players' protests and denounced neo-nazis, via its Twitter account
On the company's earnings call earlier this month, Schnatter basically called out NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for his handling of player protests.
"The NFL leadership has hurt Papa John's shareholders," Schnatter said. "The NFL has been a long and valued partner over the years. But we're certainly disappointed that the NFL and its leadership did not resolve the ongoing situation to the satisfaction of all parties long ago. This should've been nipped in the bud a year and half ago."
After the statements, a white-supremacist publication claimed Papa John's as their official pizza. The company scrambled to try to distance itself from the alt-right.
"The statements made on our earnings call were describing the factors that impact our business and we sincerely apologize to anyone that thought they were divisive. That definitely was not our intention," the company tweeted Tuesday.
"We believe in the right to protest inequality and support the players’ movement to create a new platform for change. We also believe together, as Americans, we should honor our anthem. There is a way to do both.
"We will work with the players and league to find a positive way forward. Open to ideas from all. Except neo-nazis — (expletive) those guys."