Local pizza magnate and racist jackass "Papa" John Schnatter is in trouble again as news broke this week of a racist slur he used on a marketing conference call on racial sensitivity training in May, which should tell you exactly how successful Papa John's racial sensitivity training was.
Papa John's founder and former CEO John Schnatter resigned from the University of Louisville Board of Trustees on Wednesday after he admitted to Forbes that he used the N-word and 'hurtful language' during a training session on race in May.
The resignation was effective immediately, said board chairman J. David Grissom in a statement late Wednesday afternoon.
"After speaking with John, I’m confident that his comments, while inappropriate, do not reflect his personal beliefs or values," Grissom said. "No member of the board of trustees condones racism or insensitive language regardless of the setting. The University of Louisville embraces and celebrates diversity and is a supporter of all its students and stakeholders regardless as to their identity. The board appreciates his two years of service and thanks him for his generous support for so many years.”
The incident began with conference call with Papa John's executives and marketing agency Laundry Service that included a role-playing exercise for Schnatter to prevent public relations messes, Forbes reported in a story initially based on an unnamed source. Schnatter was asked how he would distance himself from racist groups online.
Schnatter responded by downplaying his statement last fall that NFL player protests have hurt his pizza business, according to Forbes.
"Colonel Sanders called blacks n----s," Schnatter said, before claiming the KFC founder never faced public backlash like he has received.
During the same conference call, Schnatter also said other remarks that the marketing agency deemed offensive, Forbes reported. Schnatter said that when he grew up in Indiana, people would drag black people behind trucks until they died, the source told Forbes.
In a statement released to Forbes Wednesday afternoon, Schnatter confirmed the allegations against him.
"News reports attributing the use of inappropriate and hurtful language to me during a media training session regarding race are true," he said. "Regardless of the context, I apologize. Simply stated, racism has no place in our society."
A separate statement by Papa John's, also released to Forbes Wednesday, condemned racism "and any insensitive language, no matter the situation or setting."
What a coincidence, Papa John's pizza has no place in my home, either. And I used to work there after college, too, so I know how it's made. Don't eat there, trust me. Even if the founder wasn't a racist jackass, the pizza's still crap.
Oh and apparently late last night, Schnatter left the company completely after the fallout became, well, the last slice of pizza in his garbage pie life.
Papa John’s International Inc.’s Chairman John Schnatter resigned after coming under fire for making racist comments that battered the shares of the pizza chain he founded.
The independent directors of the company accepted Schnatter’s resignation, the Louisville, Kentucky, company said in a statement late Wednesday. Papa John’s will appoint a new chairman in the coming weeks, the company said.
Just seven months after exiting the CEO role over critical comments about the National Football League’s national-anthem dispute, Schnatter came under pressure following a media report that he used a racial slur and graphic descriptions of violence against minorities on a May conference call with a media agency.
I'm impressed it took this long for him to get fired.