John Schnatter, founder and public face of pizza chain Papa John’s, resigned from his position as chairman of the boards after apologizing for using the N-word on a conference call in May.
According to Forbes, Schnatter used the racial slur while referring to Kentucky Fried Chicken founder Harland Sanders, stating “Colonel Sanders called blacks n——”.
He was participating in a role-playing exercise intended to prevent public relations crises, but it ironically ended up backfiring.
He complained at first that, unlike him, Sanders never faced public backlash, but then confirmed the allegations and apologized
“News reports attributing the use of inappropriate and hurtful language to me during a media training session regarding race are true”, he said. “Regardless of the context, I apologize. Simply stated, racism has no place in our society.”
Following this incident, Schnatter also resigned from the board of trustees of the University of Louisville. The mayor of his hometown, Jeffersonville, Indiana, ordered his name removal from its local field even though he had donated hundreds of thousands of dollars last year.