Papa John's Founder Schnatter Resigns as Chairman After Using Racial Slur

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

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

UPDATED 3:39 p.m. ET: John Schnatter has admitted that the report about the offensive and racist language he used on the Papa John's conference call is true. "Colonel Sanders called blacks n--s", Schnatter allegedly said, before complaining that Sanders never faced public backlash.

In a statement on Wednesday, the company said it condemned "racism and any insensitive language".

Schnatter previously criticized the NFL's handling of the national anthem controversy.

Papa John himself has also been forced to resign from at least one board he'd now been on, too; according to TMZ, Schnatter is stepping down from his post on the University of Louisville's Board of Trustees, effective immediately.

The University of Louisville said it doesn't condone racism. but added it doesn't think Schnatter's comments "reflect his personal beliefs or values". In the aftermath, Schnatter announced his resignation as the company's chairman late Wednesday night.

Papa John's CEO Steve Ritchie sent an internal email to team members, franchisees and operators Wednesday addressing the event, Bloomberg reported, but the email did not address Schnatter by name.

The school even named its on-campus football field Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.

Papa John's will appoint a new chairman in the coming weeks.


He also thanked Schnatter for his "generous support for so many years".

John Schnatter was on a conference call with a marketing agency at the time, according to the Forbes' report published Wednesday.

"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. Laundry Service has not responded to the report.

Unsurprisingly, Papa John's shares have taken a hit since news of the call broke.

Papa John's sales are most likely set to keep declining.

The league ultimately removed Papa John's as an official sponsor, and Schnatter stepped down as the brand's CEO.

He made comments to investors that "NFL leadership has hurt Papa John's shareholders" and that the protests "should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago", referring to Colin Kaepernick, 29, who started the movement while playing for the San Francisco 49ers.

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