They couldn’t resist.

Otto Pizza weighed in Thursday morning after Papa John’s blamed its slagging growth on the NFL’s dropping ratings. Papa John’s shares dropped 11 percent Thursday on the news that the company’s revenue growth was slowing. John Schnatter, founder and CEO of the pizza chain, said protests during the national anthem at NFL games are the problem.

“The NFL has hurt us by not resolving the current debacle,” Schnatter told investors on a conference call.

That led Otto Pizza, which has locations in Portland, South Portland and Yarmouth, to tweet: “We value individuality, freedom of expression, and the exchange of diverse ideas. Sales are fine.” Otto’s tweet included a link to a story about Papa John’s financial troubles.


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