After Pulling NFL-Related Ads, Papa John’s Gets An Unlikely Sponsor Of Their Own: Nazis

Can things get any worse for Papa John’s Pizza?

After the nationwide fast food chain’s CEO, “Papa” John Schnatter remarked that he was angry that the NFL hadn’t “nipped [player protests] in the bud a year and a half ago,” he watched as he lost $70 million in less than 24 hours. No stranger to controversy, Schnatter insisted that the protests were hurting sales of pizza, and he may have had at least a small point: The chain is the “Official Pizza of the NFL,” so as the fortunes of the league go, so goes Papa John’s, to a certain extent.

Of course, the internet didn’t let Schnatter forget that his restaurants make garbage pizza better suited for dumping 400 yards from a tailgate to keep seagulls away.

But possibly the worst of the worst happened on Friday, when Schnatter perhaps thought that the controversy was beginning to blow over.

The ultra right-wing website The Daily Stormer — well, not the actual website; that was run underground by a series of web hosts dropping them every time they tried to move their hate to another location — posted an article praising Schnatter, making Papa John’s not just the official pizza of the NFL, but of the “many sides” of the alt-right. It happened much like the nascent modern Nazi subculture appropriated New Balance shoes after that company’s CEO disparaged Barack Obama and praised Donald Trump, and pretty similar to the way they adopted Wendy’s as their official cheeseburger after someone with access to that restaurant’s Twitter (but apparently not a Google search box) mistakenly tweeted the meme that has become the most recognizable symbol of the alt-right, “Pepe” the frog.

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So will this be the end of Papa John’s? Not likely. Back in 2012, Schnatter famously said he was going to cut employee hours and raise prices in retaliation for the passage of Obamacare. Papa John’s seems to have weathered that storm well enough to maintain Schnatter’s multi-million-dollar home with the turntable driveway for parking limousines.

But being praised in an article that uses the phrase “negro fatigue” as the Stormer article does is sure to leave a bad taste in the mouths of consumers. A worse taste, even than the pizza they serve.


Featured image via Spencer Platt/Getty Images