The founder of Papa John’s is apparently ready to drag the company down with him, now saying that he regrets resigning and promises to fight the chain that he created over how he was made to resign after using a racial slur.
Stay classy my friends.
John “Papa John” Schnatter issued a public apology last week after using the n-word during a sensitivity training call back in May. Ol’ John was apparently preparing for questions he might be asked by the media, including questions about racism because we all remember his comments during the NFL anthem protests that prompted him to leave his job as CEO of the company.
That was when Schnatter thought it was a good idea to pipe up, “Colonel Sanders called blacks ‘niggers.’”
In the backlash that followed, Schnatter resigned but now he is fighting back.
According to the Wall Street Journal, in the days following his apology, he wrote a letter to directors in which he stated his regret that he gave up his chairmanship and accused the board of failing to investigate the context and intention behind his use of the n-word.
Schnatter insisted in the letter that he wasn’t racist and the way in which he used the word in the conversation wasn’t meant as a slur.
Whew, the gymnastics required to wrap one’s head around that. But, I guess.
“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 the letter, dated Saturday, WSJ notes. “I will not allow either my good name or the good name of the company I founded and love to be unfairly tainted.”
But Schnatter can huff and puff all he want, the company itself is still hitting him with a smooth Mariah Carey-esque, “I don’t know him,” issuing in a press release over the weekend saying that Schnatter was not permitted to use office space at its corporate headquarters in Louisville, Ky., and would no longer be featured in any advertising or marketing.
Nonetheless, Schnatter still is a board member of the company and owns some 29 percent of Papa John’s shares which are currently worth an easy $500 million. The board, according to WSJ, does not have the authority to bump him from his seat as director, and it will be up to shareholders to decide whether to give him the boot in the next annual meeting in May.