Following news that Papa John’s founder John Schnatter said the N-word during a conference call, Schnatter has resigned from the restaurant franchise company.
Schnatter left his position as chairman of the company’s board after news of the incident was reported by Forbes. The founder of the pizza chain used the offensive word during a conference call in May with marketing agency Laundry Service. The call was part of media training for Schnatter to prevent future media controversies. However, Schnatter tried to downplay comments he made about the NFL last fall by saying, “Colonel Sanders called blacks ni**ers” and never faced any public backlash at KFC.
Forbes notes that Schnatter’s comment was intended to show his distaste for racism. Still, numerous people on the call were offended.
“News reports attributing the use of inappropriate and hurtful language to me during a media training session regarding race are true,” Schnatter said Wednesday in a statement released by Papa John’s. “Regardless of the context, I apologize. Simply stated, racism has no place in our society.”
Schnatter also resigned from the University of Louisville board of trustees according to the Wall Street Journal. His term was slated to expire in 2022.
“After speaking with John, I’m confident that his comments, while inappropriate, don’t reflect his personal beliefs or values,” board Chairman J. David Grissom said in a statement. “No member of the board of trustees condones racism or insensitive language regardless of the setting.”
The Journal also notes that Papa John’s said it will appoint a new chairman in the coming weeks.
Source: Wall Street Journal