Papa John is stepping down

Papa John’s CEO is stepping down next month, just two months after he was under fire for criticizing the NFL leadership over the national anthem protests.

The company is an NFL sponsor and advertiser, therefore, he blamed the slowing of sales on the kneeling of the players.

Here he is seen in a picture with Jerome Bettis back in 2011.

According to the Associated Press, Schnatter will be replaced as chief executive by Chief Operating Officer Steve Ritchie on Jan. 1, the company announced Thursday.

Schnatter will remain chairman of the board and is one of the company’s biggest shareholders.

In the video above John shares the company’s story that was posted in 2011.

The Associated Press also says that shares of Papa John’s are down about 13 percent since the day before the NFL comments were made, reducing the value of Schnatter’s stake in the company by nearly $84 million.

People took to Twitter to express their opinion on Papa John stepping down.

Ritchie said that new ads would come out next year, but that they had no plans to remove John from their communications, includes pizza boxes or commercials.