During a recent radio interview in which, among other things, Papa John’s founder John Schnatter claimed he was pushed to use a racial slur during a conference call aimed at helping him boost his image, Schnatter dismissed the possibility of litigation regarding the turmoil engulfing his professional life, explaining that he hates lawyers.
He apparently likes them now.
Via CNBC.com, Schnatter has filed a lawsuit aimed at inspecting the company’s books. It’s surely a precursor to litigation aimed at getting him reinstalled as the chairman of the board.
Schnatter resigned his position after news of his slur came to light, capping a slide that began last November, when Schnatter erroneously blamed the NFL for a reduction in the company’s earnings. He quickly expressed regret for walking away from the company he founded. Schnatter still owns 29 percent of the company’s shares.
In the lawsuit, Schnatter claims he was falsely accused of using a racial slur, even though he previously has admitted that he did.
“We are saddened and disappointed that John Schnatter has filed a needless and wasteful lawsuit in an attempt to distract from his own words and actions,” Papa John’s spokesman Peter Collins told CNBC. “We will not let his numerous misstatements in the complaint and elsewhere distract us from the important work we are doing to move the business forward for our 120,000 corporate and franchise team members, and our franchisees, customers and stakeholders.”
Schnatter’s misguided attack on the NFL became the first domino in a process that has brought him to the point of filing a lawsuit against his own company. Regardless of whether the lawsuit succeeds, chances are none of this would have happened if he hadn’t decided to try to blame the NFL (possibly at the behest of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones) for problems the league didn’t cause.