Papa John's founder resigns as chairman after using racial slur

Papa John's restaurant exterior. Papa John's Pizza is the fourth largest take-out and pizza delivery restaurant chain in the United States

The company even had to come out and say that they weren't pro-Nazi after some alt-right and white supremacist groups wanted to make Papa John's their official pizza after he slammed the racial injustice protests.

"Regardless of the context, I apologise. Simply stated, racism has no place in our society", his statement added.

A spokesperson for the pizza chain said the company "condemns racism and any insensitive language, no matter the situation or setting".

Papa John's apologized two weeks later after white supremacists praised Schnatter's comments.

Forbes reported that "Schnatter was asked how he would distance himself from racist groups online" and that he "responded by downplaying the significance of his National Football League statement".

Papa John's stock plunged to a 12-month low after the report was released. Back in November, Schnatter got involved in the NFL's national anthem debate - implying that the uproar had affected his company's sales. Schnatter was eventually forced to step down as CEO, but he remained chairman of the board and the face of the brand.

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In an email statement to Forbes, Schnatter confirmed using the n-word. He also managed to include his recalling of lynching in his hometown of in, when Black Americans were dragged from trucks to their death.

Although Mr Schnatter's comments were apparently meant to illustrate his opposition to racism, several people on the call said they found his remarks offensive. It's weird and it's freaky and given that "Papa John" was trending on Twitter for much of the day, this latest unforced error becomes yet another indication that his company will continue to struggle. The agency, Laundry Service, didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

Papa John's shares fell almost five per cent Wednesday on the NYSE after the Forbes report, closing at $48.33.

Since the conference call, Bloomberg reported Laundry Service has severed ties with Papa John's.

A media agency working with Papa John's made a decision to cut ties after Schnatter's alleged behaviour on the May call, according to Forbes. He started the company when he turned a broom closet at his father's bar into a pizza spot.

Mike Moore, the mayor of Schnatter's hometown of Jeffersonville, Ind., has announced that a fieldhouse named for the controversial Papa John's founder will no longer bear his name.

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