Papa John's founder resigns as chairman

Remigio Civitarese
Luglio 12, 2018

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.

'Regardless of the context, I apologize.

Mr. Schnatter already had resigned earlier this year as CEO of the chain, which he built into a national powerhouse, over a sponsorship quarrel with the NFL over the national anthem protests and Papa John's dipping sales.

The University of Louisville also said Wednesday that Schnatter resigned from its board of trustees, effective immediately.

"After speaking with John, I'm confident that his comments, while inappropriate, do not reflect his personal beliefs or values", Grissom stated.

The independent directors of the company accepted Schnatter's resignation, the Louisville, Kentucky company said in a statement late Wednesday.

Papa John's shares fell almost 6% at one point in trading Wednesday and were down 2% as of the early afternoon.

Okay, so on one hand, it's good Schnatter is admitting his fault in using the slur.

Forbes reports that Papa John's, in a statement, did not dispute any of the reporting. Schnatter had said that the comments were meant to show his opposition to racism, though others on the call reported being offended by the remarks.

The call was reportedly a role-playing exercise to prevent future public relations fumbles after Schnatter partially blamed the NFL for slowing sales at the pizza chain following the national anthem protests a year ago.

Schnatter, 56, stepped down as Papa John's CEO in January.

Papa John's International Inc.'s outspoken chairman John Schnatter is facing another controversy that is battering the shares of the pizza chain he founded.

The incident reportedly prompted Laundry Service to cut ties with the company. The University of Louisville football team plays its home games at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.

Papa John's did not refute the report Wednesday, but issued a statement saying that it "condemns racism and any insensitive language, no matter the situation or setting".

Forbes reported that the incident took place on a call arranged between Papa John's executives and Laundry Service as a role-playing exercise for Schnatter to prevent future public-relations missteps.

Yum Brands Inc's Pizza Hut replaced Papa John's as NFL's sponsor in February, ending Papa John's eight-year relationship with the top USA football league.

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