Papa John's says founder resigned as chairman of the board

Papa John's founder apologizes for using N-word during sensitivity training conference call

Forbes reports Schnatter used the "N-word" during the call when describing the public scrutiny he received following his statement on NFL national anthem protests hurting sales.

Schnatter is reported to have downplayed the significance of his National Football League remarks a year ago on the conference call, and then said that "Colonel Sanders called blacks n--s" without facing any public backlash. The goal of the call was to address the backlash after Schnatter suggested the NFL and some of its players' national-anthem demonstrations drove down the pizza chain's sales in 2017.

According to Forbes, "multiple individuals on the call" were offended by the description and Laundry Service owner Casey Wasserman reportedly "moved to terminate" their contract with Papa John's after hearing about Schnatter's comment.

Forbes said Schnatter used the N-word during a media training exercise. "Regardless of the context, I apologise", the statement said.

The city of Jeffersonville, Ind., had plenty of reason to add John Schnatter's name last year to its 80-year-old gymnasium.

Just seven months after exiting the CEO role after making critical comments about the U.S. national anthem dispute in the National Football League, Schnatter is under fire after allegedly using the N-word and graphic descriptions of violence against minorities on a May conference call with a media agency.

According to Forbes, "Schnatter also reflected on his early life in IN, where, he said, people used to drag African-Americans from trucks until they died". The chairman, J. David Grissom, said: "After speaking with John, I'm confident that his comments, while inappropriate, do not reflect his personal beliefs or values".

Papa John himself has also been forced to resign from at least one board he'd now been on, too; according to TMZ, Schnatter is stepping down from his post on the University of Louisville's Board of Trustees, effective immediately.

Schnatter's apology followed an earlier statement by the company that did not challenge the Forbes story's accuracy.

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

Papa John's shares fell almost 6% at one point in trading Wednesday and were down 2% as of the early afternoon.

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