Papa John’s is apologizing after blaming sluggish pizza sales on NFL players kneeling during the national anthem.

  • Papa John's CEO to investors: 'NFL leadership has hurt Papa John's shareholders'
  • Pizza chain has tweeted apology over CEO's comments

The pizza chain has taken a hit both financially and online since entering into the debate.

This all stems from the controversy over NFL players taking a knee during the National Anthem.

On Nov. 1, Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter told investors on a conference call that "NFL leadership has hurt Papa John’s shareholders" and that the protests "should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago."

Papa John’s faced backlash for its CEO’s comments. The Associated Press says the company’s stock has fallen by nearly 13 percent since Schnatter’s comments.

Papa John’s is now offering to help find some common ground between supporters and opponents of the kneeling protest.