Papa John's International apologized for comments CEO John Schnatter made earlier this month, when he said the pizza chain's sales were hurt by NFL players kneeling during the national anthem.
In its apology Papa John's said it supports players' right to protest and apologized to people who thought its comments were "divisive." It also took a shot at white supremacists, some of whom had praised Schnatter - s remarks.
The Louisville, Kentucky-based delivery chain's stock has tumbled about 15 percent in the two weeks since Schnatter said "NFL leadership has hurt Papa John's shareholders." Its stock is trading at two-year lows, and sales growth has been slowing for multiple quarters.
The NFL protests started last year, when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem to protest what he said was police mistreatment of black people.
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