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First the N-Word, Now a 'Love Letter' From Papa John

Runs full-page open letter to company's 120K team members
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2018 11:00 AM CDT
Papa John Gets Serious in His Fight for Papa John's
In this Oct. 18, 2017, file photo, Papa John's founder and CEO John Schnatter attends a meeting in Louisville, Ky.   (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)

(Newser) – Who gets the kids in the divorce? John Schnatter is hoping it's him. The former Papa John's chairman, ousted in the wake of his use of the n-word while on a conference call, has published a full-page ad—or "love letter," as the Louisville Courier Journal calls it—in Wednesday's edition of the paper. The letter, which is addressed to "fellow Papa John's team members," begins with Schnatter saying he misses them all "more than words can express," that the board is barring him from talking to them, and that he knows how difficult a situation they are in. "Please know that in every minute of every day you are in my thoughts and prayers." More:

  • He clarifies that he doesn't want his face and name pulled from company materials, ending the letter with a URL: www.savepapajohns.com. The site, which rounds up legal documents and news coverage, proclaims, "The Board wants to silence me. So this is my website, and my way to talk to you." Nowhere does he explicitly say if he wants to become chairman again. The homepage's main image simply declares "I am Papa John." CNBC reports he has pushed to be named CEO once more.

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  • The Courier Journal flags one document that takes issue with the company's decision to no longer reimburse Schnatter for a portion of the cost of having security at his Anchorage, Ky., mansion.
  • The company's response, per Fox News: "We are not, nor should we be, dependent on one person. Papa John's is 120,000 corporate and franchisee team members around the world. Stakeholders, including customers, franchisees, employees, and investors, have expressed strong support for the actions we have taken to separate our brand from Mr. Schnatter. No matter what John does, he will not be able to distract from the inappropriate comments he made."
  • Indeed, Bloomberg reports that not all franchisees are on his side. In July, some released statements that read they "do not share the same sentiments as the founder of Papa John's."
(Read more Papa John's stories.)

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