Pizza Hut said Wednesday that the NFL kneeling protests are not affecting sales, the day after competitor Papa John’s claimed that its low sales are a result of declining league viewership.
Papa John’s, the official pizza company of the NFL, said Wednesday that negative perception of the NFL since players started refusing to stand for the national anthem to protest racial inequality have hurt the company’s sales.
"The NFL has hurt us," Papa John’s founder and CEO John Schnatter said. "We are disappointed the NFL and its leadership did not resolve this."
According to CNBC, Pizza Hut, who has no affiliation with the NFL, saw 1 percent growth this quarter, higher than expected.
"We're not seeing any impact from any of that on our business," the company said during an earnings conference call, according to CNBC.
President Trump has been critical of NFL players who kneeled during the anthem, and repeatedly called for the league to fire players who participate in the protests. Trump has also called for the NFL to establish a rule blocking players from kneeling, but NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that the league would not make such a rule.