SBD/Issue 156/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Papa John's Apologizes For Its LeBron "Crybaby" T-Shirts

Papa John's Apologizes
For "Crybaby" T-Shirts
Papa John's Pizza has apologized for the distribution of "No. 23 T-shirts emblazoned with the word 'Crybaby' and the [chain's] logo" during Cavaliers-Wizards Game Six Friday night, according to Laura Johnston of the Cleveland PLAIN DEALER. The shirts referred to Wizards C Brendan Haywood calling Cavaliers F LeBron James a crybaby for complaining "about hard fouls from Wizards players he thought were intended to injure." Papa John's said that its more than 40 Cleveland-area locations Thursday "will sell customers a large one-topping pie for 23 cents" as part of the apology. The chain will donate the $0.23 from each pizza sold and an extra $10,000 to the Cavaliers Youth Fund (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 5/5). Papa John's Dir of Cleveland Operations Lori Carabello said that the chain's corporate office "didn't authorize the T-shirts." She added a DC-area franchise was responsible for passing them out. Carabello: "We're as stunned as everybody else who was watching the game." A Wizards spokesperson said that the team "had nothing to do with the production or distribution of the shirts" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 5/4).

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