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Jerry Jones labels Papa John’s CEO who blasted the NFL a “great American”

Papa John's International Rings the NASDAQ Opening Bell

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 31: John H. Schnatter, Founder, Chairman & CEO of Papa John’s International, Inc. rings the NASDAQ Opening Bell at NASDAQ MarketSite on January 31, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)

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When Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter blasted the NFL’s leadership under Commissioner Roger Goodell, attention immediately turned to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who also owns 120 Papa John’s franchises. Was Jones, who has his own problems with Goodell, behind Schnatter’s comments?

In a radio appearance today, Jones said nothing to distance himself from that kind of speculation.

Asked about his connection to Schnatter, Jones expressed deep admiration for him and indicated that he agrees with Schnatter that the NFL’s leadership hasn’t done a good enough job of dealing with the ongoing national anthem controversy.

“The facts are that I’ve spent my life, the last 28 to 30 years of my life, being knee-deep and immersed in anything and everything I can do for the Cowboys and through that the NFL,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan. “On the other hand, I am a joint owner of the businesses of 120 Papa John’s stores here in Texas. And John Schnatter is one of the great Americans. He’s the story of America. He started off in his dad’s bar just doing a pizza with a little oven or microwave, and he’s built that thing into one of the greatest businesses. Papa John’s was named by all of the people that look at the NFL, Papa John’s was named as the product most associated with the NFL and it was named that a year ago by a survey of all of our viewers. So he is quite an American story.”

Given Jones’s effusive praise of Schnatter, there’s little doubt that he agrees with Schantter’s opinion that there has been “poor leadership” at the top of the NFL.