Papa John’s Founder Says It ‘Was A Mistake’ To Resign Over N-Word Comment

Katie Jerkovich | Entertainment Reporter

Papa John’s Pizza founder and former CEO John Schnatter said it “was a mistake” to resign after admitting last week to the use of the N-word during a conference call in May.

“The board asked me to step down as chairman without apparently doing any investigation. I agreed, though today I believe it was a mistake to do so,” Schnatter wrote in a letter Saturday to the pizza chain’s board of directors, according to the Wall Street Journal Tuesday. (RELATED: MLB Suspends Papa John’s Promotion Following ‘Reprehensible’ Comments By Founder)

In this photo illustration, a Papa John's pizza box is seen on July 11, 2018 in Miami, Florida. The founder of Papa John's pizza, John Schnatter, apologized Wednesday for using the N-word on a conference call in May. (Photo illustration by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

In this photo illustration, a Papa John’s pizza box is seen on July 11, 2018 in Miami, Florida. The founder of Papa John’s pizza, John Schnatter, apologized Wednesday for using the N-word on a conference call in May. (Photo illustration by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

“I will not allow either my good name or the good name of the company I founded and love to be unfairly tainted,” he added.

In the letter, the pizza company founder also explained that during the training session he was asked if he was racist, to which he said, “no.”

“I then said something on the order of, Colonel Sanders used the word ‘N,’ (I actually used the word), that I would never use that word, and Papa John’s doesn’t use that word,” the former chairman explained.

“News reports attributing the use of inappropriate and hurtful language to me during a media training session regarding race are true,” the CEO said last week in a statement. “Regardless of the context, I apologize. Simply stated, racism has no place in our society.”

In December, Schnatter originally stepped down as CEO over comments he made about how the NFL’s handling of the national anthem protests was the reason for the slump in pizza sales during the third quarter.

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