The founder of the Papa John’s pizza chain has resigned as chairman of the board amid reports that he used the N-word during a May conference call.
John Schnatter, who started Papa John’s in 1984, stepped down from the board after a report about his comment emerged, sparking massive public outcry that caused company stock to tank.
“Colonel Sanders called blacks n*****s,” Schnatter reportedly said before griping that the KFC founder was never confronted with scrutiny.
Following the Forbes report, Schnatter acknowledged in a statement that he had indeed made the remarks and apologized for his “inappropriate and hurtful” comments.
In addition, the 56-year-old resigned from the University of Louisville’s board of trustees, where he had served for two years.
It’s not the first time a conference call had led to controversy for Schnatter.
In November, he criticized the NFL over national anthem protests and blamed kneeling players for weakened pizza sales during a call with investors.
As a result, he was ousted as CEO of Papa John’s, but remained on the board of directors.