Papa John’s Apologizes for “Crybaby” T-Shirts Eick May 4, 2008 Marketing, Pizza, Sports 36 Comments Behind the Lens is reporting that the Fox 8 segment I was interviewed for just aired. As part of the segment, they announced that Papa John’s has issued a formal apology for the “Crybaby” T-shirt situation. Behind the Lens writes: They are donating $10,000 to the Cavaliers Youth Fund, and this Thursday all PJâ€™s Cleveland locations will be offering Large 1-Topping pizzas for 23 cents (pick-up only). The news of the apology is also being reported by the Cleveland Plain Dealer and ESPN, among others. I must say, I’m somewhat impressed by the response time. Granted a media storm was quickly building in the state of Ohio, and Papa John’s had to realize they (or one of their franchise owners) screwed up. That being said, their PR team clearly went into action over the weekend, and it only took them about 48 hours from the time of the game, and about 40 hours from when my story first broke, to address the matter. The $.23 pizza for Cleveland residents is a nice ode to Lebron, who wears number 23, and donating money to the Cavs Youth Foundation is also a classy move. It will be interesting to see how Lebron and/or the city of Cleveland reacts to this apology. The following two tabs change content below.BioLatest Posts Eick Latest posts by Eick (see all) Fast Food Bracket Round 1: Jack in the Box vs. Five Guys, KFC vs. Checkers - March 3, 2016 BK’s “Polygameat” Campaign Shockingly Similar to Wendy’s “Meatatarian” Campaign - September 16, 2014 Surge Wins Discontinued Foods Bracket! - April 12, 2013 36 Responses David Lay May 4th, 2008 Correction: The $10k is going to the Cavaliers Youth Fund, not the LeBron James Foundation. Still a classy move nonetheless. Reply Garnold May 4th, 2008 Classy if you mean “barely scraping by anyways, oh awesome, controversy, let’s look like the good guys.” I’m sure they’re miffed but pleased by the free advertising, good or bad. Here is my pecking order in terms of national pizza chains: 1. Little Caesar’s 2. Pizza Hut (the buffet, dude, the buffet) 3. Domino’s 4. California Pizza Kitchen (and I HATE CPK. I truly do) 5. Papa John’s And when it comes down to it, I prefer a local place to any of these joints. Besides the lunchtime buffet at Pizza Hut. Sometimes. Reply Jackie May 4th, 2008 I think it is really pathetic how you people make fun of Lebron. If Papa John’s thinks that this 23 cent pizza is going to get people to buy pizza from you THINK AGAIN!!!!! I WILL NEVER BUY PIZZA FROM YOU GUYS AS LONG AS I LIVE. I WOULD RATHER DIE A HORRBLE PAINFUL DEATH!!!! TAKE YOUR 23 CENT PIZZA AND SHOVE IT UP YOUR A$$!!!!!!!! Reply Vicky May 4th, 2008 Listen everyone did not have a problem taking the shirts and wearing them, but now one person takes it the wrong way and the whole cleveland area go crazy. I think Papa Johns were trying to show wizzard fans that you can call James anything you want and they will still support him. Well, look who is crying now. Get over cleveland, and realize James is not the only member of that team, when they win you love him and when they lose you blame the Cavs. I am going to Papa Johns on thursday and I am sure I will see you all there. Oh Papa Johns want to change the price to another number of the member of that team that would be honored for you making up shirts and passing them out for FREE. What is wrong with people. Any way make mine sausage please……. Reply Patrick May 5th, 2008 All is forgiven here in Cleveland. It was a dumb business move by Papa John’s since they have a lot of shops here in North East Ohio. I’ve only been to Papa John’s once because i’m not a fan of their pizza so the boycott was easy. I must give props to Papa John’s on their response time in handling this issue and the $10,000 they are donating to the local charity. A lot of Clevelanders and North East Ohioians now have a lot of respect for Papa John’s and all has been forgiven. Reply Theresa May 5th, 2008 It is interesting how everyone is blaming the Cleveland area for the way that Papa Johns is reacting. First of all Papa Johns is a HUGE business….rememeber a BUSINESS!!! This means, that if one franchise owner does something that the CORPORATE OFFICE would not approve of, then the CORPORATE OFFICE has to do damage control. In my personal opinion, I didn’t see the shirts and I’d be surprised if Lebron saw them either, either way, it didn’t affect his game and the Cavs won the series. But back to the company. Things would be the same had it been San Antoinio and the Suns or Detroit and Orlando, etc. So all those people out there blaming stuff on the city of Cleveland for the reaction of a COMPANY, you just need to pipe down. I think people from Washington and the team Washington were just sore losers and they only thing they knew how to do besides lose was run their mouths so that is why the franchise owner decided to make the shirt. I’m sure Washington made a ton of money over at their Papa Johns. It’s actually kind of sad that a business owner would stoop to that level. Oh well, on to the Semis. I sure will be there to get a $.23 pizza, and the fact that all the proceeds go to a good cause it worth it too. Reply RIP May 5th, 2008 IF ANY ONE CAN TELL ME HOW TO GET MY HANDS ON ONE OF THESE SHIRTS I WOULD APPRECIATE IT. LEBRON IS THE BIGGEST CRYBABY IN THE NBA. BIGGER THAN THE PRE-2008 SEASON KOBE. LEBRON HAS ALOT TO LEARN ABOUT CLASS. I GUESS THAT WILL COME WITH AGE. P.S. PISTONS-LAKERS FINALS. PISTONS IN 6. Reply Kev May 5th, 2008 LeBron acted with more class than that fool and his meatball sandwich antics. They were beating the dude up and he kept his composure. How much more class does he need to exhibit? Reply wizards fan May 5th, 2008 LEBRON IS A CRY BABY GOOD JOB PAPA JOHNS DONT LET CLEVELAND FANS THINK THEY R IMPORTANT CAUSE THEY R NOT LEBRON WAS ROCKING A BOSTON FITTED HAT TO A CLEVELAND BOSTON GAME WOW A REAL FAN OF CLEVELAND Reply Anonymous May 5th, 2008 I will never buy a pizza from Papa John’s again. First of all, I don’t like their pizza anyways. Secondly, it is an insult to the intelligence of the people of Cleveland with this bribery of a $.23 pizza. Do they really think that people are going to forgive them because they are saving money on sucky pizza? I’m not. And what makes me more mad is that they thought that I would fall for it. It was a bad publicity move, and yes, they are going to lose a lot of money because of it; which they should. True Cleveland fans will not forget this insult. Reply xavier May 7th, 2008 is wasn’t a papa john store in ohio but the district in washingtom made the shirts and did not tell corporate so now they have to suffer for what a dumb district manager did there may or may not have been a good choice but for them they are getting more business and they are charging regular price but the pj’s down here are try to apologize for the other guys mistake and u guys dont understand that think before you talk Reply Pam May 7th, 2008 Buy a 23-cent pizza on Thursday cause Papa John’s loses money on every one sold. Then boycott the place cause that “crybaby” T-shirt was mean, unprofessional, stupid and deserved to backfire!!!!! Since when does a local manager of a pizza joint have the authority to order T-shirts??? No Way!! Somebody ” higher up” authorized that public relations “fauz pas”. Shame on you!!!!! The Cavs, especially LeBron, showed a lot of class by their (non)reaction in the press. They won the game instead…..GO CAVS! Reply Ohio Papa John's Team Member May 7th, 2008 The person who did was a franchise owner and that is why he was able to order the shirts. The stores doing the 23 cent pizzas are not even losing money by doing this because the D.C. stores are covering all of the costs for this. Reply CAVS FAN THAT DANIEL GIBSON AND LEBRON May 8th, 2008 Why people have so much hate in their hearts it just a game. What pappa john done was ignorant and not professional @all and you call yourself a business, well whoever started this i will pray for you. With your greasy pizza i never like your pizza anyway.Pappa John you have alot of unhappy customers. Wizards fans thats why you guys got beat down, thats for being so hateful. PEACE! Reply CAVS FAN THAT LOVES DANIEL GIBSON AND LEBRON May 8th, 2008 MY FOUGHT I MEANT TO SAY CAVS FAN THAT LOVES DANIEL GIBSON AND LEBRON JAMES THIS IS FROM LAST COMMENT Reply Cavs Fan May 8th, 2008 Its a shame in todays world that a national chain has to be the spotlight of something like this. Papa Johns made a HORRIBLE Reply Jesus May 8th, 2008 Wizards fans….your team lost, they suck. Three years in a row with nothing to show for it accept a bunch of talk. Shut up. Reply TRISH May 8th, 2008 LEBRON THEY JUST JEALOUS AND I ADMIRE YOU BECAUSE YOU SHOWED THEM! YOU ALL BEAT THOSE HATERS DOWN! PAPPA JOHN JUST LOST ONE THEIR BEST CUSTOMERS PAPPA JOHN IM SO DISAPPOINTED IN YOU AND YOU SUPPOSE TO BE A BUSINESS SHAME ON YOU! I WILL PRAY FOR ALL THE HATERS Reply Cavs Fan May 8th, 2008 Its a shame in todays world that a national chain such as Papa Johns pizza would make such a stupid stupid decision. I wonder if the great LeShawn Stevenson was part of it as well. The Wizards organization needs to be blamed as well, they allowed those shirts to be worn inside the game..they should have been banned…i wouldnt go to Papa Johns again if you paid me to take their pizza. They need to pay for their decision…and as far as LeBron..he is a 23 year old born athlete whom handled/handles himself with incredible class. Papa Johns can take their pizza and put it where the sun doesnt shine. Reply BrEnT FrOm BRUNSWICK OHIO May 8th, 2008 dude this is stupid i want my 23 cent pizza and they wont answer the phone Reply Zydrunas Will Kill Gilbert Arenas May 8th, 2008 PS HAHAHA Washington you suck Lebron is “overrated” and you still cant beat us HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Reply It doesnt matter May 8th, 2008 To people in Washington, yall are some dums a$$es and you have no idea what Lebron has done for the city of Cleveland, if anything you are the crybabys and Deshawn who? I aint never heard of ya until Jay-z and Bron mentioned you. As for the Cavs yall are done for against Boston, KG is gonna go postal on every last one of the Cavs, Bron I respect you and think you’re one of the best players in the leauge, but the time aint right for ya yet. Celtics are on their way to their 17th NBA title and maybe more. P.S. Gilbert way to fake an injury to get out of the whooping the Wizards took, and Stevenson quit wavin’ your damn hand in your face we see you and how big of a homo you are. Reply richard csaplar May 10th, 2008 LEBRON IS A CRY BABY Reply richard csaplar May 10th, 2008 LEBRON is a cry baby he gets hit in the face a little and he has to check to see if hes bleeding. how dare papa johns make something thats negative about “his majesty” lebron can go cry over his soon to be playoff loss to my boston celtics. Boo hoo lebron Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Current [email protected]* Leave this field empty Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.