The hits keep coming for Papa John's.
Then Schnatter decided he'd use a racial slur on a conference call.
The University of Louisville announced Friday that it will remove the Papa John's name from its football stadium as part of the growing fallout over a racial remark made by the pizza chain's disgraced founder. He stepped down as chairman of Papa John's board this week after Forbes magazine reported he used the slur during a media training exercise.
That would start with retaining an independent expert to audit existing systems and polices "related to diversity and inclusion, supplier engagement and Papa John's culture".
Public reaction was swift, as was the action of numerous sports teams that had marketing relationships with Papa John's, including Major League Baseball, which suspended its Papa Slam discount deal. Eventually, Pizza Hut took over as the new official pizza sponsor, though Papa John's still had agreements with 22 teams at that time.
Schnatter maintains an expansive office suite on the top floor of the company's headquarters building in Jeffersontown. The source told the AP they were "not aware" of plans to change the brand's name.
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Mercedes-Benz Stadium now has three Papa John's locations. He appears on its pizza boxes, in some of its TV ads and in the store's interiors.
Schnatter had long starred in numerous television advertisements of the Louisville, Ky.,-based Pizza chain, which is named after him.
On Friday evening, Papa John's CEO Steve Ritchie posted an open letter promising the company would take steps to "rebuild trust from the inside-out".
Our senior management team will be on the road, listening to our employees and franchisees and getting their feedback on a path to move forward.
"Racism and any insensitive language, no matter what the context simply can not - and will not - be tolerated at any level of our company", the letter said.