Now the real contest begins: Who wins Olympics star Biles’ pizza endorsement? (Odds favor Papa John’s, according to Slate); plus, KFC chicken supplier says off with their heads

A news summary focused on 10 big employers; updated 11:15 a.m.

PAPA JOHN’S and PIZZA HUT: Slate magazine handicaps the race to sign Olympics gymnastics golden girl Simone Biles to an endorsement contract, given her love of pepperoni pizza: She eats some after every competition. The likely winner, at even money? Papa John’s, says the online publication’s Justin Peters.

Simone Biles.jpg

“The chain has a vast national advertising budget and a history of using famous athletes like Peyton Manning and J.J. Watt in its commercials,” Peters says. “The tag line writes itself: ‘Better ingredients, better pizza, better vaulting: Papa John’s!'”

Panting four spots back in the race, at 30-to-1 odds: Pizza Hut. “The Hut isn’t a front runner here,” he says, “and the only way it will stand a chance of signing Biles will be if it can present a compelling artistic vision for an ad campaign” (Slate).

Columbus native Biles, 19, is the the Rio games’ individual all-around gymnastics champ. “In doing so, she joined Mary Lou Retton, Carly Patterson, Nastia Liukin and Gabby Douglas as American all-around winners” (New York Times).

KFC: Tyson Foods has fired 10 employees caught on video by an animal rights group punching, kicking, flinging live birds, and even crushing the head of a live one under his boot. The Arkansas-based supplier to KFC and McDonald’s also said it will retrain workers who handle live poultry on animal welfare policies. The footage, recorded in May and June, was posted online by Compassion Over Killing, which fights for animal rights and encourages vegetarianism. Tyson, one of the world’s largest meat processors, said it was “disgusted by the actions of the individuals in the video” (Mirror). Posted two days ago, the video’s already been viewed more than 50,000 times:

In other bad news, the inevitable backlash has started against KFC’s newly unveiled U.K. gravy fountain:

Behold its wonderful awfulness:

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