Report says Papa John's founder used racial slur, company doesn't deny claim

Papa John's founder apologizes for using N-word during sensitivity training conference call

The resignation ends a day which began with a story from Forbes in which Schnatter was said to have used the N-word on a call with a public relations firm that was created to help the company avoid more public relations issues.

Schnatter said in a statement that the reports were true, calling the language he used "inappropriate and hurtful". Regardless of the context, I apologize. The 56-year-old heavily criticized NFL for allowing players to take a knee during National Anthem protests and even blamed them for causing a slump in his pizza sales.

According to TMZ, Schnatter also resigned from his position at the University of Louisville Board of Trustees after the NAACP urged him to. "Simply stated, racism has no place in our society", he said in a statement, per CNN Money. The University of Louisville football team plays its home games at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.

Via Noah Kirsch of Forbes.com, Schnatter had hired Laundry Service, a marketing firm owned by Casey Wasserman, to assist with the comeback effort.

'No member of the board of trustees condones racism or insensitive language regardless of the setting. Sports reported the league was suspending its "Papa Slam" promotion that allowed baseball fans to get 40 percent off their order the day after a grand slam.

Schnatter founded Papa John's in the Louisville suburb of Jeffersonville, Indiana.


Papa John's issued an apology after the November 1 conference call distancing itself from Schnatter's comments.

"We've got a new creative agency with Laundry Service", Steve Ritchie, who took over as CEO when Schnatter stepped back in December, said on the company's February 25 earnings call.

Although Schnatter apparently was trying to show that he's opposed to racism (gutsy move, John), multiple persons on the call found Schnatter's remarks to be offensive.

Schnatter, for his part, confirmed the incident to Forbes on Wednesday.

What did Papa John's say?

Exactly why he uttered the word is unclear, though reports hold that it allegedly came out while Schnatter was complaining about the backlash he's faced from the public after being particularly pro-conservative in matters like forcing NFL players to stand for the national anthem.

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