Papa John’s founder John Schnatter has been evicted from the pizza chain’s headquarters, following his departure from the company after he used a racial slur during a media training exercise.
Mr Schnatter resigned last week after using the N-word in a conference call with a marketing agency, when he was taking part in a role-playing activity aimed at reducing the risk of adverse publicity.
The former chief executive became embroiled in scandal last year after blaming weak pizza sales on NFL players kneeling during the national anthem. Papa John’s is a major NFL sponsor and was forced to apologise for the comments, made in November.
Papa Johns founder quits after using N-word in media training session
However, during a media training session earlier this month, Mr Schnatter allegedly said: “Colonel Sanders called blacks [the n-word],” and then complained that the KFC founder never faced a public backlash.
Over the weekend, the Papa John’s board announced that Mr Schnatter no longer has the right to use office space at the company’s corporate headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky.
The firm has also said it has terminated Mr Schnatter’s founder agreement, “which defined his role in the company, among other things, as advertising and brand spokesperson for the company”, with the result that Mr Schnatter is to be removed from all the chain’s branding.
Papa John’s chief executive Steve Ritchie said Mr Schnatter’s departure was “the first of several key steps to rebuild trust from the inside-out”.
“I will personally be leading this effort because there is nothing more important for Papa John’s right now. We want to regain trust, though I know we need to earn it. We will demonstrate that a diverse and inclusive culture exists at Papa John’s through our deeds and actions,” he said.
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