Papa John's founder John Schnatter resigns over 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

Papa John's said in a statement late Wednesday it would appoint a new chairman "in the coming weeks".

Louisville's naming rights deal for Papa John's Cardinal Stadium is not with the company but rather Schnatter himself.

"Regardless of the context, I apologize", he said in his statement confirming the report. The group was going through a role-playing exercise meant to better prepare for public-relations challenges.

Schnatter resigned as CEO in December after criticizing the National Football League, but retained his position as the company chairman. Mr. Schnatter, who owns 30 percent of Papa John's stock, stepped down as chief executive in December.

Schnatter came under fire in May, accused of using the racial slur in a conference call in which he went into graphic detail describing violence against minorities. The business leader used the "N-word" to claim Harland "Colonel" Sanders said the word to black people.

Papa John's shares fell almost 5 percent Wednesday after the report of the slur, closing at $48.33.

As a result, Schnatter used the May conference call to basically say that what he said was not as bad as it could have been.

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Schnatter confirmed the incident in an emailed statement to Forbes on Wednesday.

According to Forbes, the 56-year-old also spoke about his early life in IN on the conference call, and claimed people used to drag African-Americans from trucks until they died.

Last year, Papa John's faced backlash when Schnatter blamed the NFL and players' national anthem protests for the chain's subpar sales.

Additionally, the marketing form that organized the call has ended their relationship with Papa John's due to the alleged remark.

Papa John's now hs over 4,700 restaurants, 3,500 of which are in the US.

John has tendered his resignation from the University of Louisville board of trustees effective immediately. His company's headquarters is there, and the University's football team plays in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Papa John's is down 13% year to date, while Domino's' shares are up 48.5%.

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