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Papa John’s founder resigns as chairman after using racial slur

  • The founder and chairman of the pizza chain Papa Johns, John Schnatter, is reportedly in hot water after using the N word during a conference call in May.

    Papa John’s founder John Schnatter is apologizing today after reportedly using a racial slur during a conference call in May.


NEW YORK >> Papa John’s founder John Schnatter has resigned as chairman of the board.

The company made the announcement late tonight, hours after Schnatter apologized for using a racial slur during a conference call in May.

Forbes said Schnatter 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.

In a statement released by Louisville, Kentucky-based Papa John’s, Schnatter said reports attributing use of “inappropriate and hurtful” language to him were true.

“Regardless of the context, I apologize,” the statement says.

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

Schnatter stepped down as CEO last year after blaming slowing sales growth on the outcry surrounding football players kneeling during the national anthem. He remains chairman of the company he started when he turned a broom closet at his father’s bar into a pizza spot.

Papa John’s shares fell nearly 5 percent today after the report, closing at $48.33.

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