LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Latest on the fallout over Papa John’s pizza founder John Schnatter’s reported use of a racial slur (all times local):
Papa John’s founder John Schnatter says his use of a racial slur was taken out of context, but he feels “sick” about the incident.
Schnatter stepped down as chairman of the company’s board this week after Forbes reported that he used the N-word during a media training exercise. When asked how he would distance himself from racist groups, Schnatter reportedly complained that Colonel Sanders never faced a backlash for using the word. Schnatter subsequently issued a statement of apology acknowledging the use of “inappropriate and hurtful” language.
In a radio interview with WHAS in Louisville on Friday, Schnatter said he was “just talking the way that the Colonel talked.” But, “I said it, and it’s wrong,” he said.
The University of Louisville is removing the Papa John’s name from its football stadium.
The school is taking action after the pizza chain’s founder, John Schnatter, reportedly complained that Kentucky Fried Chicken’s Colonel Sanders never faced a backlash for using a racial slur.
University President Neeli Bendapudi announced change for Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium on Friday, as the pizza chain said it is removing Schnatter’s image from its marketing. Also being renamed is John H. Schnatter Center for Free Enterprise at the university’s business college. Schnatter has resigned from the university’s board of trustees.
Papa John’s plans to pull founder John Schnatter’s image from marketing materials following reports he used a racial slur.
A person inside the company with knowledge of the decision said the decision to remove Schnatter as the marketing face of Papa John’s was made by top executives and the details and exact timing are still being worked out.
The person, who was notified of the decision but wasn’t authorized to speak publicly, was not aware of any plans to change the pizza chain’s name.
Schnatter had apologized and said he would resign as chairman after Forbes reported that he used the N-word during a media training session. Schnatter had stepped down as CEO last year after criticizing NFL protests. He remains on the board and is the largest shareholder.
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