The National Football League has stirred up more than it’s fair share of controversy over the past couple of months.
The National Anthem protest that started last season with former 49ers player, Colin Kaepernick that many hoped would just fade away, did not. In fact, it spread like a virus, infecting every single team in the NFL.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, as well as the spoiled millionaires that make up the teams, drastically overplayed their hand, assuming that the American people would just turn a blind eye to the blatant disrespect being shown to the flag we love. Because of their flagrant disdain for our nation’s heritage, the largest nationwide boycott in recent history slammed into the league like a freight train, draining their bank accounts, and putting the entire league into jeopardy.
Thus far the damage done to the NFL was done by their furious former fans who have left the league in droves. Those who used to spend their time watching or going to the games have taken to social media to inform everyone who supports the league, that we won’t be supporting them. Significant pressure was put on sponsors to pull their advertising, but until now, none had.
However, today the NFL got the worst news to date; one of the NFL’s most iconic sponsors, Papa John’s, has officially withdrawn their support from the league. Just one sponsor might not seem like a massive problem, but considering their annual advertising budget just 3 years ago was over $180 million, they’re exit is a huge hit to the league. According to Bleacher Report, they cited “negative consumer sentiment” for the controversial move:
“Pizza chain Papa John’s announced Wednesday that it is pulling its advertising associated with the NFL, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell.
Per Jonathan Maze of Nation’s Restaurant News, Papa John’s founder John Schnatter said sales are down due to ‘negative consumer sentiment’ regarding the company’s relationship with the NFL.”
For the record, those “consumer sentiments” they’re referring to were you and I. No doubt most of the NFL brass expected Americans to roll over and play dead eventually, but 2 months into the season, the patriotic former football fans have proved that there are things much more important to us than football, and the lives of our brothers and sisters in uniform and the love we have for our country are a few of them.
“Schnatter also called the NFL ‘an example of poor leadership,’’ according to Maze.
A constant topic of discussion during the 2017 NFL season has been players’ decision to protest during the national anthem.
While the trend was started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick last season, it has continued in 2017, especially since critical comments were made by President Donald Trump.
That led to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sending a letter to all 32 NFL teams expressing his preference that players stand for the anthem.
The NFL hasn’t enacted a rule forcing players to stand, but there is a clear schism between players and NFL leadership on the issue.”
If there’s one thing that is evident to anyone who has watched the NFL, it’s that they can enact any crazy rule they want to, and if the players want to keep their jobs (and hefty paychecks) they’ll adhere to them. No matter how much the left suddenly claims to love the constitution, this isn’t a constitutional issue, it’s a “doing what your boss says” issue. The boss (aka Commissioner Goodell) just didn’t want it bad enough. Sadly for him, that is paying off now in a big way.
“Per Rovell, Schnatter said the NFL’s issues with its players should have been ‘nipped in the bud’ 18 months ago.
It was announced by Nielsen after Week 6 of the NFL season that NFL ratings are down 7.5 percent in comparison to last season, according to Rovell.
Schnatter chalked up last year’s decline to the presidential election but said this year’s drop is due to the “polarizing” controversy, per Maze.
Maze also reported that Papa John’s’ sales are down six percent.
Papa John’s is deeply rooted in the NFL since it has a deal with the league and 23 of its individual teams, according to Rovell.
Former Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is a Papa John’s franchisee who also appears in commercials for the company.”
No matter how much the company might have invested in the NFL in the past, or how strong those ties are, actions have consequences and friendship doesn’t pay the bills. Papa John’s is a business that is out to make its customers happy, and the NFL is just bad for business. Maybe at some point down the road they will get their players in line, and show the world that they once again respect the National Anthem, but until then Americans will continue to boycott, and sponsors will continue to lose money on them.
Thankfully, Papa John’s did what America wanted and showed the league where their loyalty lies; with Americans and the flag. So let’s order a pizza and celebrate this victory.
Revenge might be a dish best served cold, but in this case, it doesn’t have to be. Today it tastes like Better Ingredients, Better Pizza; Papa John’s.