Papa John's says founder resigned as chairman of the board

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Schnatter has a history of making political statements that have sparked controversy. "Regardless of the context, I apologize. Simply stated, racism has no place in our society", his statement added.

Laundry Service, which is owned by Wasserman Media Group, declined to comment through a spokesperson on Schnatter's remarks or the company's relationship with Papa John's. Schnatter caused an uproar in November 2017 when he waded into the debate over national anthem protests in the NFL and partly blamed the league for slowing sales at Papa John's.

On the May call, Schnatter allegedly said the N-word while complaining that another fast-food chain founder had used the word in the past without being subjected to public backlash.

Papa John's has once again shot itself, blowing off its metaphorical foot.


What did Papa John's say?

In a statement Wednesday evening, the company "announced that the independent directors of the company have accepted the resignation of John H. Schnatter as Chairman of the Board". He had already resigned from the UofL Athletic Association board past year, following criticism of former athletic director Tom Jurich. He resigned as CEO a few months later.

The racist incident that spurred this was brought to light by Forbes, which reported on a May PR training session involving Schnatter.

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.


Papa John's sales are most likely set to keep declining. Schnatter had said that the comments were meant to show his opposition to racism, though others on the call reported being offended by the remarks.

The company that once generated an annual revenue of over $1.7 billion took a hit following the National Football League controversy - Papa John's stock plummeted 11% soon after an earnings call that addressed the scandal, according to Forbes. Schnatter personally holds those naming rights in an agreement reached with the school two decades ago, according to reports, and he could potentially make it very hard, or at least very expensive, for Louisville to distance itself from him.

Instead, many on the call were offended and the agency's owner moved to terminate its contact with Papa John's.

Papa John's shares closed almost 5% down at $48.33 on Wednesday. However, Schnatter remained the chairman of the company's board.


Schnatter founded Papa John's in 1984.

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