U of Louisville to remove Papa John's name from stadium

Daniel Fowler
July 18, 2018

In a statement to the media, Schnatter took responsibility for his comments, saying "regardless of the context, I apologize ..." for using "inappropriate and hurtful" language. Schnatter has been in the middle of a controversy after admitting to using a racial slur during a conference call. The University of Louisville said it will remove the Papa John's name from its football stadium, and that it will rename the John H. Schnatter Center for Free Enterprise at its business college.

In an interview with San Francisco news station KRON 4, Schnatter blamed the company's marketing agency, with which he was on a phone call when the incident occurred, for overblowing the story.

This past week was the hardest week in my 22 years with Papa John's. He also said the company would communicate progress with these efforts.

The Seattle Seahawks ended their business partnership with Papa John's, according to multiple reports. He pointed out that Schnatter's views were not his, that Papa John's is bigger than one person (even its founder) and that at the end of the day it was a company of 120,000, not a company of one.

Schnatter remains on the company's board and continues to be its single-largest shareholder, with about 30 percent of the company's outstanding stock. He appeared in several commercials with superstar athletes like Peyton Manning and others, helping make Papa John's, the pizza shop he started in a closet more than thirty yeas ago, a household name.

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Along with the Major League Baseball, the Miami Marlins, Washington Nationals, Kansas City Royals, Baltimore Orioles, Tampa Bay Rays, Atlanta Braves, and Texas Rangers all said they would no longer be doing business with Papa John's.

Earlier this afternoon UofL president Neeli Bendapudi said she hadn't reviewed changing the name of the stadium, but I'd say that will soon happen.

'In response to the reprehensible remarks made by Papa John's founder and owner, the New York Yankees are suspending their relationship with the company, ' it said in a tweet.

The letter also outlined actions the company is taking, which include hiring consultants to audit Papa Johns' culture, diversity and inclusion practices.

Our senior management team will be on the road, listening to our employees and franchisees and getting their feedback on a path to move forward.

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