Papa John's to remove founder's image from ads

Tanya Simon
July 13, 2018

Louisville president Neeli Bendapudi announced Friday the school will strip the Papa John's name from its football stadium, renaming it Cardinal Stadium.

On Wednesday, Papa John's founder John Schnatter quit his chairman of the board role after it was reported that he used the N-word during a conference call in May.

The university has also chose to remove Schnatter's name from the Center for Free Enterprise.

While many have put their relationships with the brand on hold, there were a few teams across the league that made a decision to maintain their deals with Papa John's, disavowing Schnatter's comments and praising the brand for its swift action, while cited long-running partnerships with local store owners and operators who shared their values. The company also confirmed that it has no plans to rename the brand.

The deal provides that if he leaves the company, Schnatter can rename the building.

Schnatter, who was a longtime visible presence in Papa John's commercial campaigns, admitted to making a racial slur during a company conference call in May.

Top executives chose to remove Schnatter but details are still being worked out.

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In a statement on Wednesday, the company said it condemned "racism and any insensitive language".

"We understand that this comes with certain consequences and we have examined all of those, and this is our best decision to move forward", Bendapudi said.

Thursday, two Louisville players spoke out against the name of the stadium.

Fallout has already included Major League Baseball indefinitely suspending a promotion with Papa John's that offered people discounts at the pizza chain after a player hit a grand slam.

Schnatter also reportedly said that when he was growing up in IN, people would drag black people from trucks until they died.

The Miami Marlins announced a similar plan on Thursday, with the Miami Herald reporting that the team was closing the Papa John's concession stand at its stadium as well as suspending a promotional deal with the brand, which gave customers 50% off pizza the day after the Marlins scored five or more runs.

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