Pizza giant Papa John’s, ripped its founder John Schnatter, accusing him of putting himself above the company brand “in an attempt to regain control.”
An independent group from the company’s board of directors, wrote in a statement: “John Schnatter has demonstrated a continued pattern of ignoring decisions of the Board, both in his role as CEO and as non-executive Chairman of the Board.”
Schnatter found himself removed from chairmanship post in July, under very curious circumstances.
During a conference call, Schnatter was describing some of the racial slurs which used to be said openly in the past. At one point, Schnatter told a story about Kentucky Fried Chicken founder colonel Sanders.
Schnatter said, “Colonel Sanders called blacks n—–s.” The Papa John’s founder went on to say that Sanders faced no repercussions for using the slur.
However, despite the fact that Schnatter only used the n-word to illustrate the racism of the past, he nonetheless apologized for the incident.
“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.”
According to the Hill:
The Wednesday statement from the independent directors pointed to a variety of examples of Schnatter harming the company, including allegedly meeting with Papa John’s management and staff behind the CEO’s back, as well as allegedly creating separate commercials starring himself in defiance of the board’s desire to change advertising strategies.
The statement also pointed to Schnatter’s comments on NFL players kneeling in protest during the national anthem.
‘The Board specifically directed John Schnatter not to talk about the NFL controversy related to the National Anthem on the 2017 third quarter earnings call,’ the statement read. ‘In direct defiance of these instructions, John Schnatter made unscripted comments about the NFL controversy.’
Schnatter gained notoriety last fall, when he blasted NFL leadership for their handling of the NFL anthem protests. Schnatter claimed the protests had hurt pizza sales and was “disappointed the NFL and its leadership did not resolve” the anthem issue.
At the time, Papa John’s was the official pizza of the NFL.
The NFL anthem protests controversy is headed into its third year, with no resolution in sight.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn