The founder of Kentucky-based pizza chain Papa John's has resigned from the company after earlier apologizing for using the N-word during a conference call created to help him improve his handling of public relations. Earlier in the day, he acknowledged using a racial slur during a May conference call and apologized following a media report that also said the pizza chain founder had graphically described violence against minorities.
Schnatter formally stepped down as Papa John's CEO last January, weeks after he publicly blamed sagging sales on the company's association with the NFL, which, he argued, had botched its response to player national anthem protests.
Now, sources say Schnatter used the n-word during the call in May while responding to a question about how he plans to distance himself from racist groups online.
He also reportedly said that when he was growing up in IN, people would drag black people from trucks until they died.
Forbes reported that Schnatter's comments were meant to demonstrate his stance against racism, but that people on the call were offended by them.
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"Regardless of the context, I apologise".
The University of Louisville said it doesn't condone racism. but added it doesn't think Schnatter's comments "reflect his personal beliefs or values".
On the call in May, Schnatter sought to downplay the significance of his criticism of the league and its players, Forbes reported.
In an email statement to Forbes, Schnatter confirmed using the n-word.
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Instead, many on the call were offended and the agency's owner moved to terminate its contact with Papa John's.
On Wednesday, a Forbes report emerged alleging that Schnatter had used the slur during the May marketing call.
John has tendered his resignation from the University of Louisville board of trustees effective immediately.
Papa John's shares closed almost 5 per cent down at $48.33 on Wednesday. Lest you think any kind of justice has been served, though, Laundry Service recently had to lay off 10% of its employees - partially because it lost Papa John's as a client.
Following the incident, Papa John's International Inc. shares plummeted.
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