Published: Sat, July 14, 2018
Sports | By Juana Wells

UofL renaming Cardinal Stadium, removing Schnatter name from Center for Free Enterprise

UofL renaming Cardinal Stadium, removing Schnatter name from Center for Free Enterprise

Schnatter, who was a longtime visible presence in Papa John's commercial campaigns, admitted to making a racial slur during a company conference call in May.

Papa John's plans to pull founder John Schnatter's image from marketing materials following reports he used a racial slur.

"Colonel Sanders called blacks n--s", Schnatter reportedly said on the call.

The university's president, Neeli Bendapudi, said she informed both Schnatter, 56, and Papa John's worldwide of the unilateral decision to end their relationship.

Schnatter owns almost 30 percent of the company's shares, which fell after the report but rebounded when he said he would depart as chairman.

Schnatter later apologized for the remark, which was made during a media training exercise after he was asked how he would distance himself from racist groups.

Schnatter has always been the face of the brand, and Papa John's has acknowledged in regulatory filings that its business could be hurt if Schnatter's reputation was damaged.

The No. 4 USA pizza chain had already been showing less of Schnatter in its major campaigns. "I am sure that he will say that he is sorry that he has hurt so many people, including - I know - students that he cares a great deal about".

The AP first reported Papa John's plans. Oh, no, it was the "derogatory and insensitive comments" - the fact that he said one particular no-no word.

The university's stadium will be renamed from Papa John's Cardinal Stadium to simply Cardinal Stadium effective immediately, the Louisville Courier Journal reports.

Bendapudi also explained she spoke with Schnatter, who supported the decision to remove the name so it won't be a distraction to the program, according to 93.9 The Ville.

The 56-year-old executive also stepped down as CEO last January, two months after he ripped the NFL, a corporate partner at the time, for its handling of player national anthem protests. Netflix said Jonathan Friedland used the word in a meeting of public relations staff about sensitive words. Their statement condemned Schnatter, but noted that the Astros "are proud of our 10-year partnership with Houston Pizza Venture, a local Houston business and owner of the local franchisees". Today, it has more than 3,400 locations in North America.

Papa John's latest controversy has begun to cost the brand relationships with baseball teams across the majors.

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