Papa John’s founder John Schnatter has apologized after news broke that he used the n-word on a conference call. But…it’s not exactly how it sounds. He didn’t just randomly drop the word. He was participating in some sort of role playing exercise on racism.
Forbes reported that Schnatter was asked on the May call how he would distance himself from racist groups online. That topic came up because the company’s sales slowed after Schnatter’s statements in 2017 about NFL players protesting racial injustice during the national anthem.
“Colonel Sanders called blacks n—–s,” he was quoted as saying, adding that Sanders never faced backlash.
The report said Schnatter “also reflected on his early life in Indiana, where, he said, people used to drag African-Americans from trucks until they died.” The reference apparently was meant to show that he found racism deplorable, but the Forbes source said that that multiple people on the call were offended.
Forbes reported that the owner of Laundry Service, the marketing firm working with Schnatter, terminated its contract with Papa John’s after it learned about the comments.
“News reports attributing the use of inappropriate and hurtful language to me during a media training session regarding race are true. Regardless of the context, I apologize. Simply stated, racism has no place in our society,” Schnatter said in the statement, which was sent to the Courier Journal by the company.
Investors reacted quickly Wednesday morning. The stock price dropped $3 per share, from nearly $51 to $48, shortly after the report surfaced. After trading closed, the company’s market capitalization (the value of outstanding shares) had dropped by nearly $84 million.
It blew up on social media.
PAPA JOHN’S shares skid after report founder used N-word… https://t.co/Lih8nEhxYD
— DRUDGE REPORT (@DRUDGE_REPORT) July 11, 2018
just want to flag that the headline calls the slur “racially charged.”
the slur in question is the n-word.
i thought for sure we could at least call *that* one “racist,” full-stop. https://t.co/iTLfNXQ1Hc
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) July 11, 2018
I’ve been boycotting this hateful place for as long as I can remember!
Bad pizza and bad people! No one should eat at Papa Johns!https://t.co/l3I6fbcBqN
— Tom D’Angora (@TomDangora) July 11, 2018
Papa John’s founder John Schnatter, who once blamed kneeling NFL players for poor pizza sales, apologized for using “inappropriate” language after reports emerged that he used the N-word on a conference call. pic.twitter.com/D5Pu1869CR
— AJ+ (@ajplus) July 11, 2018
Papa John’s Founder Used N-Word on Conference Call. I encourage all Papa John’s employees take a knee in protest. https://t.co/UFs7QSRWXQ
— Greg Sarafan, Esq (@GSarafan) witter.com/GSarafan/status/1017173344687443973?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>July 11, 2018
Is this real life?
“Papa John’s founder apologizes for using N-word on conference call… while participating in a role-playing exercise designed to prevent public relations crises.” https://t.co/eq2bUouyUa
— Tim Mak (@timkmak) July 11, 2018
— LorryJ (@JLorryj) July 11, 2018
How does the N-word just slide off your tongue? I was reading a slave diary to my son-we couldn’t say it.
It was just too vile…
But this guy???
He hated Obama
He hated Obamacare
He hated Take A Knee
& he’s right, the context doesn’t matter.https://t.co/ZxqgjjSxoG
— Jillian Hurley (@BeautyBind) July 11, 2018
I WILL say that I don’t really know how the n-word rolls off the tongue (unless of course you listen to JAY-Z or Kanye or whatever), but hating Obamacare, disliking Obama and disagreeing with NFL players– that does NOT make you a racist. HOWEVER, I totally hate that word. Context doesn’t matter. I hate it in rap songs too. Just sayin’.
YALL: Papa John’s founder John Schnatter DID NOT call anyone the N-word, he was just using it.
ME: I got that the first time I read the article, it’s STILL not ok. Hell, Black people can’t even use it in professional settings, founder or not. pic.twitter.com/LCPyXkSBhJ
— Jerome Trammel (@MrJeromeTrammel) July 11, 2018
But whatever. Obviously, this is all Trump’s fault.
The N-word is trending. In 2018. Thanks @realDonaldTrump, you malignant donkey taint.
— Working Class Hero (@spider_ramone) July 11, 2018
Also, this happened.
JUST IN: After word circulated that (Papa) John Schnatter used the “N-Word” in a conference call, he has just resigned from the Louisville Board of Trustees. pic.twitter.com/sUxqYlhFjd
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) July 11, 2018
h/t Courier Journal