John Schnatter, founder of Papa John’s Pizza, had a long day Wednesday.
First, Forbes reported in the morning that Schnatter had used the N-word during a conference call in May. By 5 p.m., he had stepped down from University of Louisville’s board of trustees, and by 10:30 p.m. he was out as Papa John’s chairman.
The internet, of course, caught on to the story in the morning and spent Wednesday roasting the pizza baron and internationally known Jeffersonville native.
The irony of it all, as one Twitter user pointed out, is that the latest Papa John’s public relations disaster happened on a conference call where Schnatter was practicing for future interviews about his response to racism and racist groups.
The Forbes story about Schnatter’s controversial comments was published Wednesday morning, and he was out at the University of Louisville just hours later. Even TMZ had picked up the story by 10:30 p.m. – it’s never a good thing when you’re getting TMZ’d at 10:30 p.m.
(That is a sweet jacket though.)
University of Louisville has been no stranger to controversy after the past few years. And with Schatter’s company’s name plastered on the school’s football stadium, some wondered what steps the university would take after the latest public relations nightmare.
Yahoo Sports columnist (and former Courier Journal sportswriter) Pat Forde had an interesting – and fitting – idea.
Schnatter threw himself into the debate about the NFL national anthem protests last year by claiming that the protests had curbed pizza sales. Schnatter stepped down as CEO of Papa John’s at the beginning of the year after the backlash, which clearly hasn’t stopped since then.
For those boycotting the company, comedian and speechwriter Jon Macks had some sage advice: “Instead of ordering his pizza, just put some ketchup on a piece of cardboard and serve cold. It’s healthier and tastes better.”
And, if he wasn’t already done, Matthew Cherry — a filmmaker and NFL alum — made it clear he had no more tolerance for Schnatter’s company.
To Twitter, neither Schnatter nor his pizzas have good taste.
The Courier Journal’s Lucas Aulbach contributed to this report. Reach reporter Kate Talerico at email@example.com, 502-582-4352 or follow her on Twitter at @k_talerico.