Papa John's founder now says he was PRESSURED into saying the n-word

by 14/07/2018 01:48:00 0 comments 1 Views

Papa John's founder now says he was PRESSURED into saying the n-word during a conference call while dozens of sports teams cut ties with the pizza chain

  • John Schnatter on Wednesday resigned from the company as chairman of the board after he used a racial slur on a conference call
  • Papa John's said its decision to remove Schnatter from advertisements is the first of several steps to rebuild trust 'from the inside-out' 
  • Chief Executive Officer Steve Ritchie said the company would hire an independent expert to audit all of its processes 
  • Schnatter also came under fire in November after he criticized the NFL leadership over national anthem protests by players
  • Just hours after Schnatter's comments were made public, The Yankees announced it would be dissolving its relationship with the pizza giant 

By Daniel Roth For Dailymail.com and Reuters

Published: 17:06 EDT, 13 July 2018 | Updated: 01:48 EDT, 14 July 2018

Disgraced founder of Papa John's Pizza John Schnatter says he was pressured into using a racial slur as part of a public relations exercise with senior staff.

In a radio interview with WHAS on Friday, Schnatter claims he was pressured into using the word 'n****r' during a role playing game designed to keep him from using controversial language.   

'The agency was promoting that vocabulary … They pushed me. And it upset me,' he told host Terry Meiners. 

John Schnatter (pictured) on Wednesday resigned from the company as chairman of the board after he used a racial slur on a conference call
John Schnatter (pictured) on Wednesday resigned from the company as chairman of the board after he used a racial slur on a conference call

John Schnatter (pictured) on Wednesday resigned from the company as chairman of the board after he used a racial slur on a conference call

Papa John's said its decision to remove Schnatter from advertisements is the first of several steps to rebuild trust 'from the inside-out'
Papa John's said its decision to remove Schnatter from advertisements is the first of several steps to rebuild trust 'from the inside-out'

Papa John's said its decision to remove Schnatter from advertisements is the first of several steps to rebuild trust 'from the inside-out'

'It's caused a lot of grief for my community, for my university,' said Schnatter.

'My employees are distraught, they're crushed, and it's all because I was sloppy and I wasn't as sensitive. It's the same mistake I made on the NFL comments.' 

Papa John's International Inc announced on Friday that it will remove Schnatter from its promotions after he admitted to using the racial slur during a conference call earlier this week. 

Chief Executive Officer Steve Ritchie (pictured) said the company would hire an independent expert to audit all of its processes
Chief Executive Officer Steve Ritchie (pictured) said the company would hire an independent expert to audit all of its processes

Chief Executive Officer Steve Ritchie (pictured) said the company would hire an independent expert to audit all of its processes

The move comes as Major League Baseball and a host of franchises including the New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners suspended their business relationships with the company.

Papa John's said its decision to remove Schnatter from advertisements is the first of several steps to rebuild trust 'from the inside-out'.

In an open letter published on Friday, incoming Papa John's CEO Steve Ritchie said the company would hire an independent expert to audit all of its processes, policies and systems related to diversity and inclusion.  

'I will personally be leading this effort because there is nothing more important for Papa John's right now,' Ritchie writes.

'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 adds. 

Just hours after Schnatter's removal from his company was announced, The Yankees said it would be dissolving its relationship with the pizza giant.

'In response to the reprehensible remarks made by Papa John's founder and owner, the New York Yankees are suspending their relationship with the company,' it said in a tweet.

The fallout from the remarks has hurt company's bottom line, with Papa John's stock shares dipping 12 cents on Friday, to $53.55
The fallout from the remarks has hurt company's bottom line, with Papa John's stock shares dipping 12 cents on Friday, to $53.55

The fallout from the remarks has hurt company's bottom line, with Papa John's stock shares dipping 12 cents on Friday, to $53.55

Meanwhile, the Mariners stated via Twitter: 'We have suspended our relationship with Papa John's.'
Meanwhile, the Mariners stated via Twitter: 'We have suspended our relationship with Papa John's.'

Meanwhile, the Mariners stated via Twitter: 'We have suspended our relationship with Papa John's.'

The Mets, New York's National League franchise, said in a statement that Schnatter's 'highly offensive comments... are completely inconsistent with our values.'

'We immediately suspended promotional activities with the sponsor prior to our game Wednesday night,' the team added. 

Meanwhile, the Mariners stated via Twitter: 'We have suspended our relationship with Papa John's.'  

Along with the MLB, the Miami Marlins, Washington Nationals, Kansas City Royals, Baltimore Orioles, Tampa Bay Rays, Atlanta Braves, and Texas Rangers all said they would no longer be doing business with Papa John's. 

Collegiate Football powerhouse the University of Louisville and the NFL's Atlanta Falcons also announced their intention to separate ties.  

Schnatter, who founded the company in 1984, also came under fire in November after he criticized the National Football League's leadership over national anthem protests by players.

The fallout from the remarks has hurt company's bottom line, with Papa John's stock shares dipping 12 cents on Friday, to $53.55, after a brief surged on news that  Schnatter was resigning from the company. 

Schnatter also came under fire in November after he criticized the NFL leadership over national anthem protests by players
Schnatter also came under fire in November after he criticized the NFL leadership over national anthem protests by players

Schnatter also came under fire in November after he criticized the NFL leadership over national anthem protests by players

Open Letter From New Papa John's CEO Steve Ritchie

Papa John's is not an individual. Papa John's is a pizza company with 120,000 corporate and franchise team members around the world. 

Our employees represent all walks of life, and we are committed to fostering an inclusive and equitable workplace for all. Racism and any insensitive language, no matter what the context simply cannot – and will not – be tolerated at any level of our company.

The Board of Directors of Papa John's accepted Mr. Schnatter's resignation as Chairman of the Board earlier this week. It has also been decided he will no longer be in any of the advertising or marketing materials associated with the brand.

This decision is the first of several key steps to rebuild trust from the inside-out. We will be engaging a broad set of stakeholders to chart a course forward that demonstrates our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

First, we will identify and retain an independent and outside expert to audit all of our existing processes, policies and systems related to diversity and inclusion, supplier engagement and Papa John's culture.

As part of that process, we will establish a process for communicating progress against transparent goals to everyone in our Papa John's family.

The entire senior management team will also be visiting key locations across the country and hold listening sessions with employees in our stores to talk about what they are seeing and give them a platform to voice their concerns. 

To follow-up, we will initiate two-way conversations to invite ongoing feedback from employees and franchisees to ensure that their voices are heard.

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.

Steve Ritchie | CEO Papa John's, International

 

 

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