Kaepernick's Lawyers Want to Depose Former Papa John's CEO

John Schnatter, loved by Nazis and Trump, was a mainstay on DiversityInc's list of CEOs behaving badly — until he lost his job.

Former NFL player Colin Kaepernick's grievance against the NFL has requested a new list of people to be deposed — and among them is John Schnatter, the disgraced former CEO of Papa John's.


Kaepernick's legal team is also seeking to depose Jerry Jones, owner of the Cowboys, and has questions on whether Jones had a hand in comments Schnatter made about the NFL last year.

Schnatter blamed protests against police brutality by NFL players, who are mostly Black, on his company's declining pizza sales. He said late last year on a call with investors, "The controversy is polarizing the customer, polarizing the country."

"Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership," he added.

It turns out Papa John's was the organization with a leadership problem, though. Schnatter, who founded Papa John's, was soon ousted as CEO.

At the time, stock in Papa John's had been on a decline since last summer. Notably, though, competitors such as Domino's and Yum! Brands, which encompasses Pizza Hut, did not see as sharp a decline.

Meanwhile, racists took Schnatter's comments as a sign of his support. The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website, declared Papa John's pizza the official pizza of Nazis.

Schnatter earned himself on the list of CEOs behaving badly, as DiversityInc CEO Luke Visconti previously reported. He is the same man who once said that Obamacare would be bad for his franchise and also donated to Donald Trump's campaign while he was running for president.

Also on Kaepernick's list is Jane Goodell, wife of Roger Goodell, the NFL's commissioner. Goodell had been using a Twitter handle @forargument to defend her husband against attacks from the media. The account has since been taken down.

According to Yahoo! Sports:

"The addition [of Jane Goodell] comes following a sweep of text messages, emails and telephone records by Kaepernick's legal team over the last two months. Roger Goodell and several league executives were among those asked to turn records over, as well as a handful of NFL team personnel and coaches."

In addition to Schnatter, Jones and the Goodells, Yahoo! reported that Kaepernick's legal team is also seeking out the general managers and head coaches for the Baltimore Ravens and Seattle Seahawks. Both teams had expressed interest in signing Kaepernick but ultimately did not choose him. Also on the list are Troy Vincent, EVP of Operations for the NFL, and SVP of Player Engagement Arthur McAfee, as well as Robert Kraft and Bob McNair, owners of the New England Patriots and Houston Texans, respectively.

Kaepernick filed a grievance in October, claiming the NFL blackballed him following his national anthem protests to bring attention to police brutality against Blacks. But Kaepernick has been keeping himself busy. From October 2016 to June 2017, he has donated $900,000 to 31 organizations. And in December he received Sports Illustrated's Muhammad Ali Legacy Award.

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