Papa John's Founder Resigns from Board After Using the N-Word on Company Call

After having to resign as CEO last year for his bizarre broadside against NFL players protesting racism, Papa John's founder John Schnatter stepped down as chairman of the company's board Wednesday night for using the n-word on a company call.


"Papa John's International, Inc. ... today announced that the independent directors of the company have accepted the resignation of John H. Schnatter as Chairman of the Board," the company said in a statement. "Olivia Kirtley acts as the company's Lead Independent Director. Papa John's will appoint a new Chairman of the Board in the coming weeks."

Schnatter has apologized earlier in the day, issuing the following statement: "News reports attributing the use of inappropriate and hurtful language to me during a media training session regarding race are true. Regardless of the context, I apologize. Simply stated, racism has no place in our society."

But this wasn't the first time Schnatter had triggered a public outrage. In 2017, he had blamed the NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to protest racism for his companies disappointing sales. He resigned as CEO a few months later.

Forbes reported Wednesday that Schnatter used the racial slur on a call discussing public relations mishaps. He said, “Colonel Sanders called blacks n-----s,” the magazine reported. He added that Sanders didn't stir public outcry with his racist remarks.

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