Peyton Manning sells stake in more than two dozen Papa John's locations

Peyton Manning

By that time, Manning had already starred in an NFL-themed commercial alongside Schnatter.

The company responded to the backlash by apologizing on social media and even had to condemn white supremacy after a neo-Nazi site, The Daily Storm, endorsed Papa John's and published a post that asked if the chain was "the official pizza of the alt-right".

Schnatter is from Jeffersonville, Indiana.

"The NFL and pizza appeal to the same demographic, which is everyone", said Renie Anderson, the NFL's senior vice president of partnership and sponsorship management.

Though Manning has sold his stake, his agreement with the company means the former Denver Broncos quarterback will remain Papa John's celebrity spokesperson and brand ambassador.

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Manning, who played at the quarterback position for the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos, became a Papa John's franchisee in 2012.

Peyton Manning has sold his stake in all 31 of his Papa John's outlets in the metro area.

On Feb. 28, the NFL and Papa John's made a joint statement that the franchise would no longer be the official pizza of the league. In the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2017, Papa John's posted net income attributable to the company of $28,509,000, down from $32,630,000 reported in the year-ago quarter.

Schnatter remains a Papa John's chairman and his face still appears on the company's pizza boxes. "The NFL has hurt us by not resolving the current debacle to the players' and [team] owners' satisfaction", he said in a conference call with investors.

Collins said a new franchisee, who owns locations in other markets, had purchased Manning's locations and assumed ownership.

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