Papa John’s founder John Schnatter just keeps digging his own business grave. New reports this afternoon reveal that during a conference call, the face of the Papa John’s franchise used the N-word to detail how Colonel Sanders used to use the racist slur and never faced any backlash. This conference call reportedly happened in May.
Schnatter later confirmed and apologized for his use of the term saying, “…regardless of the context, I apologize. Simply stated, racism has no place in our society.””
According to Forbes who broke the story, Schnatter was on a call with Laundry Service, a marketing agency, and was asked how he planned to manage future public relations flare-ups.
Papa John took it a step further than just using racial slurs. Schnatter also described the abuse African-Americans used to endure in his home state of Indiana in what was supposed to convey empathy but instead offended some who were on the conference call.
This is not Schnatter’s first blunder in regard to issues regarding race. Just last year, Schnatter was forced to step down as head of the pizza franchise after his statements regarding the NFL players kneeling in protest of police brutality on Black men and women. Schnatter said at the time that the mishandling by the NFL of players protests was the reason pizza sales were struggling.
NFL fans may remember that Papa John’s Pizza had an ongoing partnership with the NFL and more often than not would have former NFL Quarterback Peyton Manning featured in their commercials. With the NFL’s ratings on a decline in recent seasons, Papa John’s sales have seemed to slip as well.