By Jackie Hollenkamp Bentley
Louisville, KY., – The founder of Louisville-based Papa John’s pizza, is facing quick backlash following his admittance to using a racial slur last week. According multiple news outlets, John Schnatter used the N-word during a conference call in May with an outside marketing business.
On Tuesday, Schnatter resigned his position as a member of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees. Trustees chairman J. David Grissom released the following statement:
“After speaking with John, I’m confident that his comments, while inappropriate, do not reflect his personal beliefs or values. No member of the board of trustees condones racism or insensitive language regardless of the setting. The University of Louisville embraces and celebrates diversity and is a supporter of all its students and stakeholders regardless as to their identity.
John has tendered his resignation from the University of Louisville board of trustees effective immediately. The board appreciates his 2 years of service and thanks him for his generous support for so many years.”
Then, late Tuesday night, Papa John’s International announced that Schnatter has also resigned as the company’s chairman of the board. Olivia Kirtley is acting as the company’s Lead Independent Director and a new chairman will be named “in the coming weeks.”
This morning, WDRB News reported that Jeffersonville mayor Mike Moore has returned a $400,000 donation from Schnatter. The gift was to be used toward the renovation of the Nachand Fieldhouse.
“It just doesn’t feel right,” Moore told WDRB. “I don’t want to use it. His comments were very upsetting, to not only me, but the entire city. The Nachand Fieldhouse is a very special place, and I want people to always remember that, and I don’t want the association with those comments that were made by Mr. Schnatter to be associated with this beautiful building.”