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Papa John's founder reportedly used racial slur during conference call

12 July 2018

On the May call, Schnatter allegedly said the N-word while complaining that another fast-food chain founder had used the word in the past without being subjected to public backlash.

After Forbes' story ran, Schnatter, through Papa John's, issued a statement confirming he used the slur.

"Regardless of the context, I apologise".

He was forced to resign as Papa John's chief executive past year after he criticised the NFL for its handling of national anthem protests by players.

Schnatter has also resigned from the board of trustees of the University of Louisville.

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

Schnatter, who appears in the chain's commercials and on its pizza boxes is the company's biggest shareholder.

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

"The statements made on our earnings call were describing the factors that impact our business and we sincerely apologize to anyone that thought they were divisive".

Papa John's stock plunged to a 12-month low after the report was released.

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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.

According to Forbes, Schnatter was involved in a call between executives of the Papa John's Pizza and the marketing agency Laundry Service.

Schnatter then went on to describe his early life in IN, a place, he said, where Black people used to be dragged from trucks until they died.

That may not seem like a huge deal to you or us, but to Schnatter, that's everything - the pizza company is headquartered in Louisville, and Papa John is a MAJOR donor to their athletic programs.

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

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Laundry Service was reportedly asked to help manage Schnatter's "comeback" after he publicly criticized NFL leadership over the national anthem protests by football players. Schnatter's remark set of outrage all over social media and with several groups, including the NAACP calling for Schnatter to resign from the University of Louisville board prior to it happening.

Papa John's founder reportedly used racial slur during conference call