- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Papa John’s announced Tuesday it was ending its sponsorship deal as the official pizza of the NFL a few years early, but by Wednesday morning, a new deal was already settled for Pizza Hut to take Papa John’s place.

Papa John’s deal with the league was set to run through the 2020 season, according to ESPN business reporter Darren Rovell, but the company known by its commercials with CEO and founder “Papa” John Schnatter pulled out of the deal.

Schnatter made headlines during the season for saying in an interview that NFL players kneeling during the national anthem had caused a fall in sales for his company, implying that this was due to the NFL’s ratings challenges.

Rovell pointed out that Papa John’s still has a deal with the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys’ owner, Jerry Jones, reportedly was against players’ kneeling and recently has been penalized with hefty NFL fines for publicly feuding with league commissioner Roger Goodell on multiple fronts.

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