Papa John resigns as chairman after racial slur use on conference call

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John Schnatter – the founder and face of Papa John’s Pizza – has resigned as the company’s chairman of the board after it was revealed on Wednesday he used the N-word in a conference call with fellow executives in May.

“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. 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,” the company announced in a press release.

Papa John’s had been the official pizza partner of the National Football League until earlier this year when Pizza Hut took over as the league’s pizza partner. Schnatter became an NFL story when he blamed the NFL and the protests held by players during the national anthem over police brutality and social justice as a reason for declining sales of pizza for the company.

Schnatter stepped down as CEO of the company in January but remained the chairman of the board until his resignation Wednesday night.

79 responses to “Papa John resigns as chairman after racial slur use on conference call

  1. The beginning of the end for Papa John’s began in late September over anthem thing and losing the NFL pizza sponsor over to Pizza Hut, that is really more better pizza and better ingredients. Quality not quantity.

  2. Why doesn’t Schnatter just say that he doesn’t mean it as a sign of disrespect? We’ve been told that when players kneel for the anthem and say they mean no disrespect, that we are then not allowed to get upset about it. Schnatter should try that.

  3. I realize the anti-PC people will be up in arms over this, but what possible innocent reason would someone have for using the N-word during a conference call for a pizza corporation??? there’s no excuse for this because there’s NO REASON to do it…

  4. CTE is the root cause of John Schnatter‘s bizarre behavior and Papa John’s declining sales. The Crappy Tasting Excrement that Papa John’s promotes as being actual ‘pizza’ can be the only explanation.

  5. Well he wanted notoriety. He kept putting himself out there. Sooner or later the real you has to surface.

  6. Papa Johns franchise holders have lost and will continue to lose a lot of business due to this mans ignorance and stupidity. They should bring a class action lawsuit against him to see if a judge will hold him personally responsible for all of their lost business and to see if they can be financially compensated.

  7. I give people the benefit of the doubt and since I’m not privy to the whole conversation, I think it’s possible that he isn’t a racist.

    However, he is at a minimum, a moron for not realizing that he can’t say the ‘n’ word.

  8. Every person, regardless of race, should be fired for using the “N word” and that includes rappers.

  9. It’s even worse than reported. He used it during a role play session with a PR firm contracted to change the perception that PJ’s was the favorite pizza of white supremacists, which arose from his anthem debacle. The firm canceled the contract after the call. You can’t make up this stuff.

    There’s something seriously wrong with the guy. I’m glad he won’t be on TV anymore.

  10. PC Police have struck again. It’s simply amazing that anyone would use this word in a public setting much less a conference call with multiple witnesses. Never the less, the fact that a corporation automatically fires a person based a mere utterance, no matter the context or how vile, seems to support that one side gets to make all the rules at the expense of the total context.

  11. Remember though, the loss of business for Papa John’s has nothing to due with this moron, or the fact that their pizza is terrible. It’s all on the NFL!

  12. Their pizza is still way better than Pizza Hut. And that aint saying much. But come on dumb @ss…a slur over a CONFERENCE CALL?!?! You cant make this stuff up…

  13. That is Jerry Jones boy! Enjoy Cowboy fans! I can’t believe people still eat this pizza. It is the worst!!!!! The crust taste like it was cooked in the microwave, the quality of the ingredients is no better then Little Caesars.

  14. Dude, the conference call was about imagine of the company and John used Colonel Sanders actual use of the word as a horrible example. Put down your torches and pitchforks and go back to your village.

  15. How humiliating is that? Kicked out of the company you founded and then forced to resign as COB. Couldn’t happen to a better guy.

  16. John definitely seems like a jerk, but let’s hold up on comparing pizzas. Pizza Hut uses frozen dough that they proof overnight after covering it in oil, Papa Johns actually has fresh dough delivered every few days.

  17. Pizza Hut now instead of Papa Johns? Talk about going from bad to worse. Just goes to show ya, the NFL isn’t concerned about anything except cash…certainly not quality.

  18. I’m all for free speech, but this word needs to stop being used by all races in our society. Terrible terrible word.

  19. …and are we suppose to feel sorry for him?. The guy made millions. Like it or not he is a good businessman and will just move onto the next chapter of his life. And he’ll continue to succeed.

  20. What a surprise to see a guy who was against the protests to bring equal justice to all is a racist. I am shocked.

  21. Accounts that I have read stated that he was commenting on race relations and used the slur in an instructive manner. He was not using the word to denigrate anyone, but, rather, to help assure that nobody within the organization ever use that word. But the snowflake consulting firm that was participating in the workshop resigned in indignation, thus fanning the flames of an otherwise innocuous event. Context is critical.

  22. Surprised anyway? We all knew this guy was a racist long ago. It was just a matter of time for it to come out.

  23. I love all you gourmands complaining about the quality of mass produced pizza, as if each pie should taste like it was made by a world-class chef from the old country. Then you lean back and guzzle another 12-pack of Bud Light, laughing your butt off anytime someone says “Dilly, Dilly!”

  24. He stepped down as CEO, that doesn’t mean he gives up ownership.
    It’s all the same, I really like other pizza better.
    But I have to wonder, as his company is no longer affiliated with the NFL, why is this story even relevant, to this site?

  25. bannedfromchoirpractice says:
    July 12, 2018 at 9:01 am
    Fox News will hire him.
    ____________
    Snowflakes are so cute when they’re angry.

  26. If Schnatter had stuck to his area of expertise, pushing pizzas, none of this would have happened. But like a lot of successful business people, he projected that success as a sign of superior insight in other areas. Hence, one PR disaster after another and ultimately his removal from direct involvement in the company he started.

    Others could learn a lot from his example.

  27. PC Police have struck again. The fact that a corporation automatically fires a person based a mere utterance, no matter the context or how vile, seems to support that one side gets to make all the rules at the expense of the total context.

    He resigned. Try again.

  28. I live in a part of the country where theres a million actual pizzerias. pizza heaven. 14 shops within a mile and a half from my house. papa johns has tried 4 times in the last 5 yrs to keep a location open. always fail. strangely the pizza hut store has been open on lake avenue for what seems forever.

  29. crush22 says:
    July 12, 2018 at 9:07 am
    Double standards……….

    Similar to Jim Jordan. It’s amazing how one party rally’s around some very disgusting people just out of party loyalty. What ever happened to doing what is right and respectful?

  30. I’m all for free speech, but this word needs to stop being used by all races in our society. Terrible terrible word

    ———zzzz

    yes, only this word. meanwhile whites in africa are actyally being killed for being white. but by all .eans, ban a word

  31. @knew8411 says:

    He stepped down as CEO, that doesn’t mean he gives up ownership.
    It’s all the same, I really like other pizza better.
    But I have to wonder, as his company is no longer affiliated with the NFL, why is this story even relevant, to this site?
    ========================================================================
    You must be new to the site…once connected to NFL, always connected to NFL. However, his company was a major sponsor and used Peyton Manning as it’s spokesperson.

  32. jppt1974 says:
    July 12, 2018 at 12:16 am

    The beginning of the end for Papa John’s began in late September over anthem thing and losing the NFL pizza sponsor over to Pizza Hut, that is really more better pizza and better ingredients. Quality not quantity.
    **************************************************************************************
    “more better pizza…” really???

  33. easyeddie says:
    July 12, 2018 at 9:43 am
    Resign or be fired. Try again.
    ———————————-
    He was the CEO and Chairman of the Board, he can’t be fired, he has to be voted out by the shareholders. Try again.

  34. Tim Buttrum says:
    July 12, 2018 at 7:50 am
    I’m all for free speech, but this word needs to stop being used by all races in our society. Terrible terrible word.
    ——-
    I’m in 100% agreement with you but banning actual words is a dangerous slippy slope in a “free” society. But I am glad when people publicly show their nastiness and the public lets them know, “Yeah, We heard you.”

    There is a justice to that. (Sometimes!)

  35. mysterytonite says:
    July 12, 2018 at 8:14 am
    Peyton Manning goes into business with this guy? Man next thing you know he will be selling fake game worn …….nevermind
    ———————————–
    Thanks for the reminder. You know, Peyton sold out of Papa Johns right before the NFL switched to Pizza Hut. Maybe the SEC should look into that, sounds like insider information to me. Isn’t that illegal?

  36. As an owner/chairman of any company, you can think anything you want, but you can’t say it out loud.

  37. “Accounts that I have read stated that he was commenting on race relations and used the slur in an instructive manner. He was not using the word to denigrate anyone, but, rather, to help assure that nobody within the organization ever use that word.”
    ___________________

    Let me get this straight: To make sure nobody in the organization ever said that word he needed to himself say the full word out loud? Couldn’t have just said “the n word” like normal people? And I assume the bit where he talked about dragging people to death behind trucks was to make sure nobody in the organization ever did that?

  38. I think it’s weird how some people just can’t admit when someone is blatantly racist.

    Papa John fits the profile. And his pizza is s*** too, I’m surprised to see the defenses here.

    Don’t drop the n-bomb it’s that easy

  39. He shouldn’t have said it but for all the people that are outraged at this, you are ridiculous. He was referencing how KFC founder used the word and never got scrutinized or anything for it. People like to feign outrage nowadays though and plus with his stance about the NFL and the anthem and how it affected his sales, the vile liberal lunatics will pounce on this and overreact just to make it seem worse than it is to get back at him.

  40. Conveniently leave out the fact Schnatter was referring to Col sanders getting away with using the n word. Hardly racist, but a comment on heightened public awareness in our digital age.

    Why did you leave out the whole story, Crabtree? It couldn’t be because of Schnatter’s public stance against the darling anthem kneelers.

  41. “I think it’s weird how some people just can’t admit when someone is blatantly racist.’

    —-

    I mean, he didn’t do anything blatantly racist. He did commit blatant stupidity. Nothing he did indicated any dislike of a specific ethnicity, as improper as it was. He deserves to be ridiculed (for the pizza even before he opened his mouth), I think, but I don’t think his offense fits the definition.

  42. A few on here may need chiropractors the way they twist to justify or explain a racist exposed.

    If you think what he said was OK, you need to take a long look in the mirror.

  43. dumbasdirt says:
    July 12, 2018 at 5:57 am
    Papa Johns franchise holders have lost and will continue to lose a lot of business due to this mans ignorance and stupidity. They should bring a class action lawsuit against him to see if a judge will hold him personally responsible for all of their lost business and to see if they can be financially compensated.

    ——-

    Gawd, you really are “dumb as dirt” if you think a company owner can be held “personally responsible” for the fortunes of the franchisees.

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