Papa John’s Former CEO John Schnatter Claims He Was Pressured To Use N-word

Contributed by BreAnna Bell

Papa John’s founder and former CEO, John Schnatter, claims he used the racial slur that ended his career in a conference call because he was working with an agency that was “promoting this vocabulary.”

Friday afternoon, the pizza chain founder said in an interview with WLKY, a local news station located in Louisville, Ky, he was pressured to say the n-word. He also went on to say the he was upset with the situation and he now feels sick for having ever said it.

“It’s caused a lot of grief for my community, for my university,” Schnatter added. “My employees are distraught, they’re crushed and it’s all because I was sloppy and I wasn’t as sensitive. It’s the same mistake I made on the NFL comments.”

For those who remember, Schnatter had to step down in January when he made comments against the NFL saying that sales were down because of the national anthem protests started by former player Colin Kaepernick.

The backlash was instant. The NFL dropped Papa John’s as a partner immediately. Papa John’s said they will remove former CEO’s face and likeness from all promotions and marketing materials. Major League Baseball has stopped its “Papa Slam” promotion and at least twelve MLB teams, including the Yankees and Mets, have stopped their local sponsorships of Papa John’s.

The University of Louisville, “Papa John’s” hometown school, has announced they will be taking his name from their football stadium (now renamed Cardinal Stadium). The University of Kentucky’s “John H. Schnatter Institute for the Study of Free Enterprise,” will now be renamed to get rid of Schnatter’s name as well.

The mayor of Jeffersonville, Indiana, where Schnatter was born, returned a $400,000 donation from Schnatter to restore the Nachand Fieldhouse, a historic gym.

The fallout has continued as Morehouse College got involved, dropping Papa John’s from their on campus food options.

Check out his full interview below:

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