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Papa John's Founder Walks Back Big Pizza-Eating Claim

John Schnatter didn't 'eat' 40 pizzas in 30 days, he 'had' 40 pizzas in 30 days
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2020 6:09 AM CST
In this Oct. 18, 2017, file photo, Papa John's founder John Schnatter attends a meeting in Louisville, Ky.   (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)

(Newser) – Back in November, ousted Papa John's founder John Schnatter said he'd eaten 40 of his former company's pizzas in 30 days—or so we all thought. He's now playing a bit of a semantics game with his original wording, and he may get off on a technicality. NBC News reports that Schnatter, who stepped down as CEO of the company in 2018 after using the n-word during a conference call, appeared on Monday's H3 Podcast, and when asked about his pizza claim, the 58-year-old pointed out what he'd actually said a few months ago. "I've had over 40 pizzas in the last 30 days," was how he'd phrased it, and he now points out the difference between two important words.

"I didn't say I'd eaten 40 pizzas in 30 days. I said I had 40 pizzas in 30 days," he told host Ethan Klein of his original interview with WDRB. Even though that's actually what he said, Klein scoffed at his verbal gymnastics. "Hold on, we're going to split hairs here?," he said to Schnatter. "When I said 'I had a pizza,' that means I ate it." Schnatter explained that "had" means he is "inspecting" a pizza or eating only part of it. He adds he typically scarfs down up to nine pieces a week—which may seem like a lot, until you consider he estimates he ate (not had) up to 15 slices a week when he was still helming Papa John's. Per Fox News, Schnatter spent the rest of the podcast assessing how Papa John's is doing without him, rating Papa John's pizza from a nearby location, and noting he likely lives in "one of the biggest" homes in Kentucky. (Read more John Schnatter stories.)

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