Papa John's Founder and CEO John Schnatter will be replaced by a long-time insider, Steve Ritchie. Although the company didn't confirm a connection, a New York Times report assumes the move is related to Schnatter's controversial statements about the NFL. He blamed NFL leadership for allowing players to kneel during the national anthem, which he said led to declining viewership and, as a result, declining pizza sales.
The company's news statement also says little about the decision. Instead, the message focuses on Ritchie's qualifications, with endorsements from Schnatter, who will remain board chair.
Schnatter's accusations were criticized by some and, unfortunately, touted by white supremacist groups. Schnatter did his best to disentangle from the association with hate groups, but the damage may have been done.
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