Papa John's founder resigns as chairman after apologizing for racial slur

Papa John's founder and CEO John Schnatter attends a meeting in Louisville Ky. Schnatter who appears on the chain's commercials and pizza boxes will leave the CEO role in January 2018 weeks after

Schnatter's apology and resignation were prompted by a Forbes story that said Schnatter used the N-word on during the call with company's outside marketing agency. It was then that he claimed Colonel Sanders, who founded Kentucky Fried Chicken, used the N-word in the past and did not face public backlash.

'Regardless of the context, I apologize. Schnatter hired the agency after he criticized NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality against black people previous year The fallout resulted in Schnatter resigning from his role as CEO in December.

Schnatter has also resigned from the board of trustees of the University of Louisville.

Schnatter's comments have landed the company in hot water before.

According to Yahoo Sports, Major League Baseball indefinitely suspended its Papa Slam promotion in which the league dubbed each Grand Slam a "Papa Slam" and let baseball fans use an online code to get 40 percent off a Papa John's order the next day.

Papa John's 2017 annual report records total revenues for the year of $1.78 billion, with a net income of nearly $103 million.

The source added that although Schnatter intended for his remarks to show his stance against racism, multiple people found it objectionable.

Forbes reported Wednesday morning that Schnatter made the remark on a conference call arranged by Papa John's executives and a marketing agency as a role-playing exercise for Schnatter to avoid more public-relations problems, such as his remarks previous year about NFL players protesting racism by kneeling during the national anthem.

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The call was reportedly created to prevent future public relations gaffes similar to Schnatter's comments about the National Football League, of which Papa John's was a major sponsor.

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

John Schnatter will step down as chief operating officer but remain chairman of the board.

Representatives of the outside marketing firm, Laundry Service, declined to comment on the incident.

Schnatter admitted to using an offensive racial term during the call and apologised, according to a separate statement earlier Wednesday.

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

Papa John's International, Inc. announced Schnatter has resigned as chairman in a statement late Wednesday night.

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