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Papa John’s Forced to Deny It Makes the ‘Official Pizza’ of the Alt-Right

Pizza graphic from the Daily Stormer’s story. Photo: The Daily Stormer

Looks like white supremacists have bad taste in pizza, too: Papa John’s is publicly denying that it makes the “official pizza of the alt-right” after a leading neo-Nazi website gave the chain props for blaming lagging sales on the NFL’s national-anthem protests. The Daily Stormer, the site that couldn’t find a domain host after celebrating the Charlottesville killing, celebrated CEO John Schnatter’s seemingly racist finger-pointing in a story last Thursday that features a pie with a pepperoni swastika. The site has already given Wendy’s and New Balance its kiss of death, so the illustration’s caption can’t excite Schnatter or the chain’s other execs: “Papa John: Official pizza of the alt-right?”

During a call last week defending Papa John’s 24 percent stock-price drop, Schnatter announced that they were re-evaluating the chain’s relationship as official NFL sponsor — a title they’ve held since 2010. Leadership “starts at the top,” he explained, and the league’s “has hurt Papa John’s shareholders.” Merits notwithstanding (Pizza Hut, DiGiorno, and others noted their sales are unaffected or even up for the year), Schnatter’s excuse was mocked as clueless at best, and racist at worst. Attacks and jokes erupted all over social media:

The Daily Stormer also felt pretty convinced that it was evidence of racism. It called Papa John’s decision to reduce NFL ad buys a lesson in why it “make[s] economic sense to be pro-White,” and then gloated: “This might be the first time ever in modern history that a major institution is going to be completely destroyed explicitly because of public outrage over their anti-white agenda.”

Papa John’s has decided to put distance between itself and that logic. A rep for the company is saying that they “didn’t have any idea” about the Daily Stormer’s endorsement as the pro-white pizza chain of choice, and that they “condemn racism in all forms and any and all hate groups that support it.” To put a fine point on the matter, the rep adds: “We do not want these individuals or groups to buy our pizza.”

Papa John’s Denies It Makes ‘Official Pizza’ of Alt-Right