Papa John’s is back in hot water after reports surfaced that its founder and chairman, John Schnatter used the n-word during a conference call in May.
According to Forbes, the call included the pizza chain’s executives and a marketing agency called Laundry Services and centered on preventing potential PR blunders like the one Papa John’s faced after Schnatter blamed the NFL for slowed sales amid the Take a Knee protests last year.
“NFL leadership has hurt Papa John’s shareholders,” Schnatter said at the time. He also added that the protests “should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago.”
Papa John’s issued an apology after the Nov. 1 conference call distancing itself from Schnatter’s comments.
“The statements made on our earnings call were describing the factors that impact our business and we sincerely apologize to anyone that thought they were divisive. That definitely was not our intention,” the company said on Twitter.
“We believe in the right to protest inequality and support the players’ movement to create a new platform for change. We also believe together, as Americans, we should honor our anthem. There is a way to do both.”
Now, sources say Schnatter used the n-word during the call in May while responding to a question about how he plans to distance himself from racist groups online.
“Colonel Sanders called blacks n—–s,” Schnatter allegedly said.
He reportedly made additional comments about his life in Indiana, where, he claimed people used to drag Black folks from trucks until they died. Forbes reports that Laundry Service owner, Casey Wasserman terminated the company’s contract with Papa John’s after learning about the remarks.
So far, no official word from Papa John’s or Laundry Service about the claims but it sounds pretty legit from the pizza chain that is so beloved by the alt right.