Following last week’s announcement from Papa John’s founder John Schnatter that they would begin removing NFL-related advertisements, NBC executives are now warning the National Football League that other mega-sponsors are mulling whether to follow the pizza chain and pull future ads from the 2017 season.
According to Ad Week, NBC-Universal executive Linda Yaccarino told a round-table discussion that Papa John’s “wasn’t alone” in expressing their outrage over months of professional athletes “taking a knee” during the US national anthem.
“None of NBC-Universal’s NFL advertisers have pulled out of NBC’s Sunday Night Football or Thursday Night Football games. However, a ‘list of advertisers have made themselves very clear: if you continue covering the political coverage of the issue, we will not be part of the NFL,'” she said. “Because think about it: they have half the country that is cheering about that, and they have half the country that is emailing them, saying, don’t do that. So that’s a real thing.”
The NFL has been struggling to regain its footing following weeks of players choosing to “take a knee” during the performance of the US national anthem.
The ensuing controversy gained national attention when President Trump called for a total boycott of the NFL until officials and owners require players to stand during the ‘Star-Spangled Banner.’