John Schnatter has resigned as chairman of Papa John’s, according to multiple reports.
On Wednesday, Forbes reported that Schnatter, who is also the company’s founder, used a racial slur during a conference call with a business partner in May.
“Colonel Sanders called blacks n-----s,” Schnatter said. He then complained that Sanders never faced public backlash.
The remarks reportedly caused the business partner, Laundry Service, to end their arrangement.
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On Wednesday, Schnatter admitted to making the remarks and apologized in an emailed statement.
“News reports attributing the use of inappropriate and hurtful language to me during a media training session regarding race are true,” Schnatter said. “Regardless of the context, I apologize. Simply stated, racism has no place in our society.”
Schnatter previously criticized the NFL’s handling of the national anthem controversy.
“We’re disappointed the NFL and its leadership did not resolve this [protest controversy],” Schnatter said. “Leadership starts at the top and this is an example of poor leadership. NFL leadership has hurt Papa John’s shareholders.”
According to several reports, shares of the pizza chain rose 11 percent Thursday morning.