Papa John's founder reportedly used n-word during conference call

Papa John's founder apologizes for using N-word

On the May call, Schnatter allegedly said the N-word while complaining that another fast-food chain founder had used the word in the past without being subjected to public backlash. He said, "Regardless of the context, I apologize". This was in reference to a suggestion Schnatter made during the chain's November quarterly earnings call that sales had been dragged down because of how the NFL handled the players who kneeled in protest during the national anthem.

The resignation was effective immediately, said board chairman J. David Grissom in a statement late Wednesday afternoon.

The University of Louisville said it doesn't condone racism. but added it doesn't think Schnatter's comments "reflect his personal beliefs or values". "We want to make it clear to all of you that racism has no place at Papa John's", according to the memo obtained by Bloomberg News.

Laundry Service, which is owned by Wasserman Media Group, declined to comment through a spokesperson on Schnatter's remarks or the company's relationship with Papa John's.

While Schnatter is no longer the CEO of Papa John's, he is still chairman and is tied with the brand's image and is featured prominently on the company's pizza boxes.

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University of Louisville Board of Trustee member John Schnatter listens to the discussion regarding employment of athletic director Tom Jurich, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017.

Schnatter's apology followed an earlier statement by the company that did not challenge the Forbes story's accuracy. Forbes said that this remark was apparently used to try and "convey his antipathy to racism".

The rift between Schnatter and Jurich led to Schnatter resigning his seat on the U of L Athletics Association, the athletics governing board.

Following the incident, Laundry Service said it held a call with the client's chief executive officer to discuss winding down the media agency's work with the company.

The attempts at damage control were not enough to prevent Major League Baseball from suspending its partnership with the company, a "Papa Slam" promotion in which grand slams triggered 40 percent price reductions of Papa John's pizzas the following day.

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