Papa John's to cut founder out from all branding

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

U of L President Neeli Bendapudi said she chose to rename the stadium and also to remove Schnatter's name from the Center for Free Enterprise that Schnatter helped establish at U of L's College of Business in 2015 with a $4.6 million donation. He believes very few Papa John's customers know Schnatter's name.

"Regardless of the context, I apologize", the statement said. Papa John's has acknowledged in regulatory filings that Schnatter's public role as its pitchman could be a liability if his reputation was damaged. In addition, Schnatter will keep his shares in the company and remain the largest shareholder with 30 percent of the pizza chain's stock.

The University of Louisville has renamed Papa John's Cardinal Stadium "Cardinal Stadium", the latest in the fallout since Papa John's International Founder John Schnatter admitted on Wednesday that he used a racial slur in a business conference call in May.

During the call, he reportedly said "Colonel Sanders called blacks n--" and never faced backlash. He was forced to step down as CEO in December 2017 after he blamed slumping sales on the NFL's handling of kneeling players during the National Anthem.

"Mr. Schnatter's derogatory and insensitive comments are not at all reflective of the value of our organization", the Marlins statement said. The most heavily aired national TV commercial this year, according to iSpot, "It Starts with Our Ingredients", only has a glimpse of Schnatter's image-difficult to spot-on an apron someone wears.

The AP first reported Papa John's plans.

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Keith Hollingsworth, a professor with Morehouse College's business department, said keeping Schnatter in the marketing and advertising would signal to people that the company does not have a problem with his comments, or that it doesn't think they are a big deal.

Earlier this week, Schnatter used the n-word in a conference call orchestrated by a PR company created to prevent future PR screw-ups.

To say things have not been going well for Papa John's seems like an understatement.

Bendapudi also explained she spoke with Schnatter, who supported the decision to remove the name so it won't be a distraction to the program, according to 93.9 The Ville.

Papa John's, based in Louisville, Kentucky, began operations in 1984 and had more than 5,200 locations globally. The company can not afford to alienate customers, with sales already under pressure from rivals such as Domino's.

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