The founder of Papa John’s Pizza, John Schnatter, has resigned from his position after reports emerged of him using the N-word during a conference call earlier this year.
The company announced late Wednesday night that they had accepted Schnatter’s resignation and have plans to replace the chairman in the coming weeks.
The board’s lead independent director, Olivia Kirtley, will serve as interim chairwoman until a candidate is selected and added to the board.
News of Schnatter’s resignation came just hours after he released a statement apologizing for using the racial slur. “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,” Schnatter said.
His apology was prompted by a report from Forbes that detailed his use of the racial slur in a conference call conversation about national anthem protests in the NFL. Schnatter has been vocal about the hot topic before, citing the protests as a reason Papa John’s sales were down back in November 2017.
According to ABC News, the founder has also resigned from a position he held on the University of Louisville board of trustees, effective immediately.
News of Schnatter’s resignation comes just months after he received criticism for making negative comments about the NFL, resulting in the removal of Papa John’s from list of official NFL sponsors.
Louisville football players Seth Dawkins and Jaylen Smith took to Twitter to advocate for a stadium name change after Schnatter admitted his use of the racial slur.
Papa John’s as an official sponsor of the NFL.
AT ALL https://t.co/84JlAPznli
— Jaylen Smith (@JaylenSmith_12) July 12, 2018
The stadium is currently named Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium after the company.
Ever wished you could start a career covering your favorite sport? Have you spent time wishing you could combine your love of sports with your passion for writing and reporting? CMN’s Sports Journalism course is an experiential learning program designed to give the practical experience you need to get your foot in the door in this ultra-competitive industry. You’ll get useful, direct feedback on your reporting, exposure to experienced sports journalists and influencers, and a great place to build your portfolio. You can get college credit, too. Get all the details on the CMN's Sports Journalism Course here.
Sign up for the Morning Scoop
Former Astronaut Mark Kelly Will Run for Senate in 2020
If elected in 2020, Kelly will become fourth-ever American astronaut elected to Congress.