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.
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