Papa John's founder apologizes after reportedly using slur

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

Papa John's founder John Schnatter dropped a racial epithet during sensitivity training

The University of Louisville embraces and celebrates diversity and is a supporter of all its students and stakeholders regardless as to their identity.

Schnatter was asked how he would separate himself from racist groups online and responded by "downplaying the significance of his National Football League statement", Forbes reported. According to the report, a May conference call that addressed the manner in which Schnatter would distance himself from online racist groups, Schnatter complained that Kentucky Fried Chicken founder Colonel Harland Sanders used the "N" word in reference to African-Americans without scrutiny or effect.

The media-training company working with Papa John's opted to end its business relationship with the pizza company after the call, according to Forbes.

After another round of backlash and a sharp decline in Papa John's shares, Schnatter released a statement Wednesday afternoon confirming the Forbes story and apologizing.

"Regardless of the context, I apologise".

"Papa John's condemns racism and any insensitive language, no matter the situation or setting", a company spokesman told CNBC. He stepped down as CEO two months after the comments.

Papa John's will appoint a new chairman in the coming weeks.

Papa John's can't get out of its own way.

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Forbes reports that Papa John's, in a statement, did not dispute any of the reporting.

Instead, many on the call were offended and the agency's owner moved to terminate its contact with Papa John's. Laundry Service didn't respond to requests for comment. "We also instructed the client that during this transition, the executive who made the offensive remarks must not communicate directly with any Laundry Service employee", according to the letter.

Major League Baseball has suspended its Papa Slam promotion with Papa John's.

The Forbes report prompted protest from the Louisville NAACP, which said Schnatter should either step down or be removed from the University of Louisville's board of trustees by the city's NAACP.

Schnatter founded Papa John's in 1984. At UofL, the John H. Schnatter Family Foundation donated about $4.6 million to create the John H. Schnatter Center for Free Enterprise.

The company has a current market value of $1.57 billion, though its share price fell by 5 percent after Schnatter's resignation as chairman.

The comments sparked a backlash on social media, with some accusing the company of racism.

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