According to Forbes Magazine, Papa John’s founder, John Schnatter, used a racial slur on a conference call in May.
The call was apparently intended to be an exercise in order to keep the company from further public relations issues. The call, which was between company executives and a marketing agency, followed Schnatter commenting on the NFL anthem protests, where he blamed the protests for the company’s sluggish sales numbers.
Apparently, according to Forbes, Schnatter said “Colonel Sanders called blacks n—–s,” and complained that the man behind KFC never received any kind of public backlash.
The article also states Schnatter talked about past racial issues in Indiana, where Schnatter was born. Both examples where supposed to be used to show his strong dislike of racism.
However, several people on the call felt the comments were over the line and were offended.
Papa John’s released the following statement in response to the article:
“Papa John’s condemns racism and any insensitive language, no matter the situation or setting. … We take great pride in the diversity of the Papa John’s family, though diversity and inclusion is an area we will continue to strive to do better.”