The NFL’s TV ratings and attendance figures are now getting so low that sponsors are getting cold feet.
Papa John’s, a major NFL advertising-partner, is attacking the league for its anti-American stance on allowing players to protest the flag (and President Trump, implicitly) before games.
Lost ratings, claims the pizzeria, have contributed to enormous home-delivery sales losses.
Papa John’s has already pulled a sizable chunk of their ads from NFL broadcasts.
More from USA Today:
As NFL players take a knee, Papa John’s says its pizza sales are taking a hit.
The national chain, the official pizza sponsor of the National Football League, is blaming its declining sales on the league, saying it’s failing to handle the ongoing protests by football players who kneel during the national anthem to protest racial injustice.
“The NFL leadership has hurt Papa John’s shareholders,” CEO John Schnatter said during an analyst call on Wednesday.
“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.”
Papa John’s has complained directly to the NFL about its decreased in-game pizza sales, according to the New York Business Journal.
Fewer people are watching NFL games. Nielsen ratings were down 5% for the first eight weeks of the current season from the same period in 2016, and down 18.7% from 2015.
“Nipped in the bud a year and a half ago.”
In other words, Colin Kaepernick should have been shown the door after exactly one stunt.