Papa John's to remove founder's image from ads

“Regardless of the context I apologize,” Papa John’s founder John Schnatter said Wednesday

Louisville's Papa John's Cardinal Stadium is now simply Cardinal Stadium.

According to a report published by The Associated Press on Friday, the pizza chain confirmed that it will be pulling Schnatter's face from advertisements as the company moves to publicly distance itself from its founder following reports on Wednesday that he used the N-word during a conference call in May.

U of L President Neeli Bendapudi said she made a decision to rename the stadium and also to remove Schnatter's name from the Center for Free Enterprise that Schnatter helped establish at U of L's College of Business in 2015 with a $4.6 million donation.

While many have put their relationships with the brand on hold, there were a few teams across the league that chose to maintain their deals with Papa John's, disavowing Schnatter's comments and praising the brand for its swift action, while cited long-running partnerships with local store owners and operators who shared their values. Schnatter, a major Louisville booster, had resigned from the school's board of trustees earlier in the week and resigned from his role as Papa John's chairman of the board on Wednesday night. "These comments were hurtful and unacceptable, and they do not reflect the values of our university".

The deal provides that if he leaves the company, Schnatter can rename the building.

"We understand this comes with certain consequences, and we have examined all of those", Bendapudi said, not clarifying what the consequences could be.

The University of Louisville's football stadium has a new name.

Bendapudi said Schnatter was apologetic in a conversation they had recently and that he was "very supportive" of taking his name off the Center for Free Enterprise.

The contract states that there are a few ways for the stadium's name to change, both relying on action from Schnatter. For the first three months of this year, Papa John's said a key sales figure fell 5.3 percent in North America.

The pizza chain later said it had accepted Mr Schnatter's resignation and that a new chairman would be appointed in the coming weeks.

Bendapudi said she wants to separate the company and the 120,000 people it employs from Schnatter.



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