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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.
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 will appoint a new chairman in the coming weeks.
Papa John's can't get out of its own way.
4% of GDP: Trump pushes North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to double military spending
He told fellow leaders he would prefer a 4 percent target, closer to the 3.6 percent of GDP the United States spends on defense. Singling out Germany isn't necessarily fair, said defense analyst Sophia Besch of the Center for European Reform.
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.
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.