During Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones' annual state of the team news conference Wednesday afternoon in Oxnard, California, one of the biggest questions had to do with crappy delivery pizza. It wasn't weird or inappropriate either, it's just where we are in 2018.
Jones is one of Papa John's biggest franchisees. John Schnatter, Papa himself, recently got busted for using the word "n——" on a conference call promoting racial sensitivity. Jones now has to deal with it.
"Some teams that have addressed the Papa John’s issue by distancing themselves do not have the same relationship that the Cowboys have with Papa John’s business in Texas," Jones said. "We own the Papa John's in Texas and feel strongly that our Cowboys are the big face of Papa John's, and that judgment is warranted by what we've done over the last 15 years with Papa John's."
Jones called Schnatter's unforced error "unfortunate" and said that the Cowboys' relationship with Papa John's doesn't amount to an endorsement.
"That's very unfortunate that that's being addressed, unfortunate for the company and unfortunate for John," Jones said. "I'm sure if he could do it over again, he'd like do-overs. But the bottom line is that the Cowboys and our relationships, we own those stores. It's not an endorsement."
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Over the decade and a half the team has partnered with the pizza company, Papa John's has offered a Cowboys special, which gives fans a deal on a large, five-topping pizza and a 2-liter drink. A more recent promotion gives fans half-off pizza the next day whenever the Cowboys score 20 points. In addition to birthday cake, Papa John's is also the only food you can bring if you pay to host your birthday at the Cowboys world headquarters at The Star in Frisco.
Jones has rapped in a commercial for the pizza.
After Schnatter's statements, North Texas' other two pro sports franchises with ties to Papa John's bowed out of their promotions with the company. Seven runs by the Rangers or two goals by FC Dallas no longer mean discounted Papa John's.