On the day the alliance between the National Football League and Papa John’s was announced, it was also disclosed that Denver quarterback and future Hall-of-Famer, Peyton Manning, had become the owner of 21 Papa John’s locations in the Denver area. Manning additionally serves as a spokesperson for the pizza chain—featured in a television commercial wherein he encourages CEO John Schnatter to give away two million free pizzas. Note that the cost of the give-away promotion far exceeds the burden of providing the affected employees with health care benefits.
Like most football fans, I love Peyton Manning.
When he faced his career ending neck surgery, I was rooting hard for him to make it back to the game. And while I have never been a Denver Broncos supporter, I have made it a point this year to tune in to watch almost every Denver game just to add my measure of support for Manning’s comeback effort and to see his progress as he works hard to regain the form that has made him one of the all-time greats at the quarterback position.
I’ve been there for Peyton Manning. Now, I would like to ask Peyton to do something for me.
More specifically, I would like Peyton Manning to do something for all the hard working Americans that have been there to support him and the NFL, thereby allowing Peyton to earn a great and well-deserved living.
I would like Mr. Manning to return the favor by announcing that his Papa John’s franchise operations will not be cutting back on its employee hours and that his restaurants will gladly comply with the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. I want Peyton to tell us that he will personally see to it that the people who work for him at his 21 stores will each receive their health care benefits.
Guys like Peyton Manning lead by example—and I can imagine no better example than his standing up for the working men and women who have always been there to support him, the game and the National Football League. If Peyton Manning will come forward to do the right thing, just watch as other Papa John’s franchise owners follow his lead.
In the meantime, I hope you will support your locally owned, non-franchised restaurants. These are your neighbors who—while working hard to give you a good product in their effort to earn a living—tend to be far more committed to their communities and the opportunity for everyone in that community to have a better life. And if there is a franchise operation in your area that has seen the light and is doing right by its employees, drop by there for a meal—from time to time—just to let them know you appreciate their effort to do the right thing for your friends and neighbors.
And the next time you call in to a national chain for a pizza delivery, ask the person on the other end of the phone if they are being provided health care by their employer as a part of their compensation. If they aren’t, politely hang up and call a locally owned and operated pizza joint.
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