Papa John's Has Lost Its Papa

Celebrities Attend Race- 2015 Indy 500

The popular pizza chain, known for featuring founder "Papa" John Schnatter in its commercials, announced Thursday that Schnatter will step down as CEO at the beginning of next month.

Papa John's pizza founder John Schnatter has had a long history of running his mouth off and it has finally caught up to him.

And that brings us to Friday's announcement that Schnatter will step down as the CEO of Papa John's following his remarks about NFL players protesting during the national anthem, as reported by NPR.

"This should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago", Schnatter also said about the anthem protests, CNN reported.

In revising sales estimates for the next quarter, Papa John's president and chief operating officer Steve Ritchie said on the call that the National Football League deal was the primary suspect behind the decline and that "we expect it to persist unless a solution is put in place". The 43-year-old, who began as a Papa John's customer-service rep making $6 an hour in 1996, has been chief operating officer for the past three years.

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"We expect it to persist unless a solution is put in place", Ritchie said about the kneeling's connection to falling pizza sales. Schnatter, who founded the chain, endorsed Trump for president. However, Schnatter will still be chairman of the board and is still the biggest shareholder. Shares of the pizza chain have lost about a third of their value this year, putting them on course for the first annual decline since 2008.

During the call, he also blamed the controversy for dismal sales. It's not clear if the company will keep him as their spokesman. Then the white supremacist website Daily Stormer suggested that Papa John's be considered the "official pizza of the alt-right".

The company's stock is down a whopping 13 percent his he made his polarizing player protest comments.

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

John Schnatter, founder of Papa John's pizza restaurants, in pool w. his trainer, doing stretches during workout at home.

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