Papa John's founder resigns as chairman after apologizing for racial slur


The Louisville, Kentucky-based pizza chain said in a press release that it would announce a new chairman in the coming weeks.

He confirmed the allegation in his apology. "Regardless of the context, I apologize". "Simply stated, racism has no place in our society", the statement read.

According to NBC News, Mr. Schnatter also resigned Wednesday from his vice chairman post on the University of Louisville Board of Trustees. "No member of the board of trustees condones racism or insensitive language regardless of the setting".

It hasn't been the best year for Papa John's or its founder John Schnatter.

Forbes reported that "Schnatter was asked how he would distance himself from racist groups online" and that he "responded by downplaying the significance of his National Football League statement".

Papa John's issued an apology after the November 1 conference call distancing itself from Schnatter's comments.

It has been a rough couple of months for Papa John's, to say the least. The call was set up as a training session for Schnatter on preventing public relations mishaps, months after he stepped down as CEO shortly after publicly criticizing the NFL for its response to national anthem protests.

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Schnatter resigned as Papa John's chief executive last December amid slowing sales.

After Forbes magazine reported the gaffe, Schnatter said it was true he had used the "inappropriate and hurtful" word. In the same call, Schnatter also reminisced over his upbringing in IN, where he claims African-Americans were dragged from the back of trucks until they died.

Shares of the company's stock were down 3.8 percent to $48.86 at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday following the report. After all, he founded the Papa John's chain right there in his hometown - and, more recently, donated $800,000 to help renovate the historic building.

During the same conference call, Schnatter also said other remarks that the marketing agency deemed offensive, Forbes reported.

Representatives of the outside marketing firm, Laundry Service, declined to comment on the incident.

The media company working with Papa John's opted to end its business relationship with the pizza company after the call, according to Forbes. Schnatter admitted he made the remarks and apologized.

While Schnatter is no longer the CEO of Papa John's, he is still chairman and is tied with the brand's image and is featured prominently on the company's pizza boxes.