Papa John’s CEO Loses $70 Million Overnight After Blaming NFL for Poor Pizza Sales

“NFL leadership has hurt Papa John’s shareholders”

Papa John made a boo-boo. Less than 24 hours after the company released its third-quarter earnings — and blamed poor performance on NFL protests — John Schnatter’s personal net worth dropped an astounding $70 million. Forbes estimates that the 55-year-old is now worth $801 million.

On November 2, Schnatter reported a significant decline in same-store sales, which he was quick to blame on the decline in NFL viewership and “Take a Knee” demonstrations performed by athletes protesting racial inequality. He said, “The NFL has hurt us by not resolving the current debacle to the players’ and owners’ satisfaction. NFL leadership has hurt Papa John’s shareholders.”

But Pizza Hut CEO Greg Creed says the protests haven’t impacted his sales at all, and the chain relies heavily on game-time delivery. Even DiGiorno weighed in on the controversy, trolling Schnatter on Twitter as to inform him that maybe Papa John’s pizza simply isn’t up to par.

“Better Pizza. Better Sales,” DiGiorno’s Twitter wrote, followed by a series of tweets denouncing the quality of Papa John’s pies.

This led to a snippy back-and-forth between the companies’ Twitter accounts. The frozen pizza king most recently changed its biography to: “It’s not delivery. It’s DiGiorno. And it’s kinda petty.”

Looks like 2017 just isn’t Papa John’s year. Forbes reports the chain lost a quarter of its market capitalization since January 1, even though shares hit a record high just one month prior. In March, Schnatter made Forbes’ list of the world’s billionaires, but has since fallen off.


There’s no telling what will come of Papa John and his namesake eatery, but according to our readers, it’s still one of America’s 35 favorite pizza chains.