Oregon State University Suspends Relations With Papa John's

Papa John founder John Schnatter said his comments had been mischaracterized after he refused to take Kanye West on as a co-spokesman

Oregon State University Suspends Relations With Papa John's

Papa John's International's board put further distance between the pizza chain and its outspoken founder John Schnatter for using a racial slur, agreeing to review all ties to him, evict him from the headquarters, and remove him from all marketing materials.

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that founder John Schnatter wrote in a letter to the board of Papa John's that the directors "asked me to step down as chairman without apparently doing any investigation".

Schnatter resigned last week as chairman of Papa John's after Forbes said that he used the n-word and spoke in graphic terms about lynchings during a conference call in May. Papa John's is now in the process of removing Schnatter from its advertisements and marketing material. He remains Papa John's largest shareholder with about 30 percent of the company's stock.

In an interview with WLKY, Schnatter alleged that he was contacted by Laundry Service about two weeks after the media training and told there was an "issue".

A special committee of the board of directors for Papa John's "kicked Schnatter out of his office" on Monday, according to CNN.

Schnatter said the discussion only started when he objected to the agency's suggestion of hiring rapper Kanye West as brand spokesman because West "uses the "N" word in his lyrics".

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Schnatter sent the memo over the weekend, criticizing the board for allegedly forcing him to step down before investigating the recent complaint against him.

And he said senior leadership would visit key locations to hold "listening sessions" with employees to enable them to voice concerns.

The email urged staffers to not respond to inquiries from journalists about Papa John's and Laundry Service, and to refer those contacts to its public relations representative.

Laundry Service has yet to comment on Schnatter's accusations. The MLB said it is also suspending its "Papa Slam" pizza promotion during games.

During the May call, Schnatter tried to downplay controversial remarks he made last November about how the NFL was handling players protesting during the National Anthem.

Since the controversy erupted, the company's former CEO claimed he was somehow pressured into using racist language, and conservatives flocked to defend Schnatter by buying mediocre pizza and using the hashtag #PapaJohnDidNothingWrong. "But they actually wanted to get into that vocabulary, and I said absolutely not".

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