Target Field Will Suspend Sale of Papa John’s Pizza

“Regardless of the context I apologize,” Papa John’s founder John Schnatter said Wednesday

Papa John's is removing the chain's founder, John Schnatter, from marketing materials after it was revealed that he used a racial slur during a conference call. Instead, further waded further into controversy after it was revealed that, during the call, he claimed "Colonel Sanders called blacks n--s" but didn't face the same backlash that he had.

Papa John's founder John Schnatter says his use of a racial slur was taken out of context, but he feels "sick" about the incident.

When the news of the call broke this week, shares in the pizza chain plummeted by 5.9 per cent, wiping $96.2million off its market value, and Schnatter announced he would resign as chairman.

This latest embarrassment for a brand whose very existence is one spurred Major League Baseball to suspend one of the dumbest corporate promotions in sports, the "Papa Slam", which granted 40% off the price of pizza to fans everywhere, anytime a player hit a grand slam - and resulted in "Papa Slam" being used repeatedly on the official website of a major professional sports league. The right to change the name of the stadium reportedly belonged to Schnatter.

Schnatter has always been the face of the brand, appearing on pizza boxes and in TV ads for the chain. But, "I said it, and it's wrong", he said.

Laundry Service cut ties with Papa John's shortly after.

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Bendapudi also explained she spoke with Schnatter, who supported the decision to remove the name so it won't be a distraction to the program, according to 93.9 The Ville.

In a complicated arrangement, the school's deal is with Schnatter himself, not the Papa John's brand, and provides that if he leaves the company, Schnatter can rename the building. Not only is he featured in many TV commercials, but his face is emblazoned on pizza boxes and at the center of the logo.

Mr Schnatter quit as chief executive previous year after criticising the NFL over players' national anthem protests. Schnatter subsequently issued a statement acknowledging the use of "inappropriate and hurtful" language.

Starbucks also recently fired a store employee for insensitivity, and earlier this year closed thousands of USA stores for an afternoon to give employees anti-racial bias training after an uproar over two black men being arrested while waiting for a meeting. Today, it has more than 3,400 locations in North America.

Papa John's isn't the only pizza option at Target Field.

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