Louisville erases Papa John's name from stadium as sports teams flee

John Schnatter's likeness is on Papa John's pizza boxes

Papa John's is removing the chain's founder, John Schnatter, from marketing materials after it was revealed that he used a racial slur during a conference call.

In a statement released by Louisville, Kentucky-based Papa John's, Schnatter said Wednesday that the reports attributing use of "inappropriate and hurtful" language to him were true. While the comments were seemingly meant to denounce racism, several people on the call said they were offended by them, Forbes reported.

Schnatter's decision to step down as chairman of Papa John's board comes after Netflix last month fired its top spokesman over use of the N-word. Schnatter apologized and said he would resign as chairman.

During the call, he reportedly said "Colonel Sanders called blacks n--" and never faced backlash.

Major League Baseball had also said it was indefinitely suspending a promotion with Papa John's that offered people discounts at the pizza chain after a player hit a grand slam.

The Astros, a well-run organization that is the defending World Series champion, also included a statement from Houston Pizza Venture president Keith Sullins: "I want everyone in the city of Houston to know that Mr. Schnatter's statements are indefensible and in no way represent the views of anyone in our company", which, just given math and sample sizes, can not possibly be true, but at least reads well.

"I said it, and it's wrong", he said. He said the comment was taken out of context but that he nevertheless felt "sick" about the incident.

After Forbes broke the story, Schnatter's name was swiftly removed from Nachand Fieldhouse in Jeffersonville, Ind., and a spokesperson with Papa John's confirmed to Insider Louisville Friday morning that the company is in the process of pulling Schnatter's image from its marketing and advertising.

The University of Louisville is renaming Papa John's Cardinal Stadium effective immediately, the school announced Friday. Not only is he featured in many TV commercials, but his face is emblazoned on pizza boxes and at the center of the logo. Netflix said Jonathan Friedland used the word in a meeting of public relations staff about sensitive words. "From our team standpoint, our partnership is with local owner/operators in Phoenix and completely separate from the national company".

Papa John's is the world's third-largest pizza chain, with more than 350 outlets in the United Kingdom and 4,900 restaurants worldwide.

Papa John's stock is up almost 3% Friday on the news.

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