Papa John's apologizes for comments made about National Football League players

Papa John's apologizes for comments made about National Football League players

"This should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago", Schnatter said. "The controversy is polarizing the customer, polarizing the country".

Many Twitter users took the pizza chain to task for what they perceived as an insincere and belated apology - and one that they believed did not reflect the values of the company's CEO, who made the initial comments as well as several other controversial remarks in the past.

On Tuesday evening, Papa John's - which has been a league sponsor since 2010 - attempted an apology on Twitter.

The pizza delivery chain noted in a series of tweets that it merely described "factors" instrumental in the earnings dip, declaring that "we sincerely apologize to anyone that thought they were divisive".

"We believe in the right to protest inequality and support the players' movement to create a new platform for change".

"The NFL has hurt us by not resolving the current debacle to the players' and owners' satisfaction", Schnatter said in an earnings call on November 1, via Bloomberg. Except Neo-Nazis - [middle finger emoji] those guys.

Numerous fans have claimed to be boycotting NFL broadcasts due to players protesting during the national anthem.

Member of the San Francisco 49ers kneel and stand during the playing of the National Anthem.

. "Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership".

The pizza company was swiftly criticized by many for pressuring the league to suppress the player protests, which began as a way to bring attention to police brutality and racial injustice in America.

Papa John's replied to some of the responses, acknowledging that it "should have acted sooner" following Schnatter's comments.