Bye bye Papa John's founder

John Schnatter's likeness is on Papa John's pizza boxes

The Rays have immediately suspended their discounted pizza promotion with Papa John's after company founder and chairman John Schnatter acknowledged using a racial slur during a media training exercise in May.

The person, who was notified of the decision but wasn't authorized to speak publicly, was not aware of any plans to change the pizza chain's name.

On Wednesday, Forbes reported that Papa John's executives and marketing agency Laundry Service held a conference call in May in an attempt to prevent controversies for the brand.

Schnatter stepped down from his role as CEO late past year after saying NFL players should stand for the national anthem and that their protests had hurt the company's sales.

Forbes first reported on the comments Wednesday, stating that Schnatter used the racial slur after being asked how he would distance himself from racist groups.

"Colonel Sanders called blacks n--s", Schnatter reportedly said on the call. He said the controversial comments were meant to show his opposition to racism, though others on the call reported being offended by his racially charged remarks. Schnatter apologized and said he would resign as chairman, prompting the company's stock to recover some of the losses it suffered after the report. "Our company was built on a foundation of mutual respect and acceptance".

The Louisville, Kentucky-based company announced late-Wednesday night it had accepted John Schnatter's resignation, saying it planned to replace him in the coming weeks.

Prior to the National Football League scandal, Schnatter came under fire in 2012 for saying that the Affordable Care Act could be "lose-lose" for Papa John's franchisees and employees.

Papa John's began operations in 1984 and had more than 5,200 locations globally.

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