My previous post, reporting on shirts sponsored by Papa John’s declaring Lebron James a “Crybaby”, had become cluttered with so many updates, I decided to summarize them in a new post. Since I first posted the story a little less than 24 hours ago, the news has really taken off, with coverage from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and a number of Ohio residents urging a boycott of the pizza chain.
Let’s summarize what has happened in the past 24 hours:
By mid-afternoon Saturday, the story was starting to spread like wildfire. Cavs fans online began suggesting a boycott HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE. In the comments of my original post, a delivery driver for Papa John’s wrote:
“We received two faxes talking about the shirt, followed by threats to boycott.”
A General Manager for a Northeast Ohio Papa John’s added:
“we have received calls of people wanting to boycott us, but hopefully something will come out ASAP from Corporate as a nationwide apology.”
Around 5 PM, the Cleveland Plain Dealer contacted me for an interview as part of a story they were planning to write about the shirts.
Shortly after 11 PM, the Cleveland Plain Dealer posted their story about the t-shirts on their website. The story notes, among other things, that the decision to give out these shirts was NOT authorized by the corporate office.
By 11:30 PM, I had received word that less than 24 hours after So Good broke the story, someone had put up a website called Boycott Papa John’s:
Around 1:30 AM on Sunday morning, I learned that someone has started a Facebook group titled Cavs fans that will never eat Papa Johns ever again”
This story seems to be spreading faster and faster, and the snowball effect is continuing unabated. I would imagine Papa John’s will have to make a statement or an apology soon, before the “Crybaby” t-shirt news spirals further out of control. If the article written by the Cleveland Plain Dealer ends up in their print edition tomorrow morning, it will be interesting to see what effect that has on the volume of complaints coming from Cavs fans.