Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

Papa John's founder John Schnatter resigns as chairman after using N-word

Papa John's founder John Schnatter resigns as chairman after using N-word

Schnatter admitted to the remark and apologized in a statement to Forbes. "Regardless of the context, I apologise", the statement said. "We want to make it clear to all of you that racism has no place at Papa John's", according to the memo obtained by Bloomberg News.

David Grissom, the chairman of the university board, said he had spoken to Schnatter on Wednesday.

'No member of the board of trustees condones racism or insensitive language regardless of the setting. The pizza magnate blamed a slump in sales a year ago to a series of protests by NFL players who knelt on the field during the national anthem. When asked how he would distance himself from racist groups, Schnatter reportedly complained that Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame never faced a backlash for using the word.

Schnatter reportedly was asked how he would separate himself from racist groups online and responded by "downplaying the significance of his National Football League statement", according to Forbes.

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Papa John's same-store sales have plunged in recent quarters amid tough competition from rivals Domino's and Pizza Hut, which have experienced success by emphasizing online sales.

In a statement issued shortly after 11 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, Papa John's said its independent directors had accepted Schnatter's resignation.

Schnatter said the actual word on the call, ESPN confirmed.

He also mentioned that, while growing up in IN, people would drag African-Americans from trucks until they died.

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The source added that although Schnatter intended for his remarks to show his stance against racism, multiple people found it objectionable.

A spokeswoman for Laundry Service, based in NY, said the company has no comment. It's weird and it's freaky and given that "Papa John" was trending on Twitter for much of the day, this latest unforced error becomes yet another indication that his company will continue to struggle.

Schnatter had been undergoing training on how to avoid future PR blunders with media agency Laundry Service, after he blamed NFL national anthem protests for his company's sagging pizza sales, when he used the offensive term.

Schnatter founded the company in 1984 by knocking out a broom closet in the back of his father's taver in Jeffersonville, In.

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The pizza stock surged more than 5% in early trading Thursday, erasing some of its heavy losses from Wednesday.

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