Sports Teams Dropping Papa John's Like It's Hot

Source says founder John Schnatter regrets resignation
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2018 3:25 AM CDT
Sports Teams Are Cutting Their Ties With Papa John's
A 2016 photo showing signage on Papa John's Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, Ky.   (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)

Papa John's founder has stepped down as chairman and been kicked out of his office at company headquarters—but the company is still experiencing fallout from John Schnatter's use of a racial slur. Since the former CEO admitted using the n-word during a conference call, numerous professional and college teams have cut their ties with the pizza chain, reports USA Today. Major League Baseball has ended its "Papa Slam" promotion and at least a dozen teams have suspended their relationships with the company, as have at least two teams each in the NFL and Major League Soccer. The NBA's Orlando Magic has also ended Papa John's promotions.

Oregon State University has canceled its sponsor relationship with Papa John's over what it calls "derogatory and insensitive" comments from Schnatter, and the University of Louisville has dropped Papa John's name from its football stadium and is now calling it "Cardinal Stadium." Schnatter has been removed from all the company's promotional material but since he is still its largest shareholder, he can't be removed from the six-person board easily—and probably not before its annual meeting. Sources tell Bloomberg that Schnatter now regrets his resignation as chairman and thinks the company was wrong to oust him without an investigation. (Read more Papa John's stories.)

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