"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.More news: New tariffs readied for Chinese goods
"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.More news: Israel to launch rocket to the moon in December
The source added that although Schnatter intended for his remarks to show his stance against racism, multiple people found it objectionable.
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.More news: Giancarlo Stanton loses out in AL All-Star fan vote
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.
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