Papa John evicted from office at company's headquarters

Jeannie Matthews
July 18, 2018

In a July 14 letter to members of the pizza chain's board, Schnatter denied using the "N-word" in a deliberately derogatory way during a May 22 diversity training session held with the Laundry Service, an marketing firm used by Papa John's.

'The board asked me to step down as chairman without apparently doing any investigation.

Schnatter, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, has since gone as far as to call his resignation "a mistake".

Oregon State has suspended its sponsorship with Papa John's, school vice president and athletic director Scott Barnes announced Monday.

Schnatter apologized for using the racial slur and announced his decision to step down last week.

The NFL swiftly replaced Papa John's with Pizza Hut as the official sponsor of the league.

Schnatter already resigned as the company's chairman on July 8, but he still has a place on the board and owns about 30 percent of the company's stock shares. "I agreed, though today I believe it was a mistake to do so", he said in a letter that was reviewed by the Journal. 'I will not allow either my good name or the good name of the company I founded and love to be unfairly tainted'.

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The move comes days after John Schnatter, the corporation's founder, admitted to using the N-word during an internal conference call.

Schnatter said the discussion only started when he objected to the agency's suggestion of hiring rapper Kanye West as brand spokesman because West "uses the "N" word in his lyrics".

"(O) ne of their attorneys said they would conduct a smear campaign against the company and me unless we paid them what he was asking for", Schnatter said in the letter.

Laundry Service and Wasserman declined to comment on the email.

The company's Twitter page had been silent following Schnatter's most recent comments until Friday when it tweeted an open letter from new CEO Steve Ritchie.

Schnatter had already resigned as CEO a year ago after blaming disappointing sales on the NFL leadership's on the controversy surrounding football players kneeling during the national anthem.

Schnatter has said that he thought the call was confidential.

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