Rangers suspend Papa Johns promotion in wake of pizza chain scandal

Virginia Santiago
July 14, 2018

Schnatter is still on the board and is the company's largest shareholder - meaning he remains a key presence. Papa John's got a taste of that previous year, when Schnatter stepped down as CEO after blaming disappointing pizza sales on the outcry surrounding football players kneeling during the national anthem.

In a statement released by Papa John's, Schnatter said reports attributing use of "inappropriate and hurtful" language to him were true.

Schnatter apologized for the remarks Wednesday. Since then, the fallout has been swift: Schnatter resigned from the school's board of trustees and as Papa John's chairman.

Schnatter's face has been central to the Papa John's brand since its inception.

Pizza-craving baseball fans have other - and, frankly, better - options at Target Field, including Pizza Lucé (Section 234), by-the-slice Freschetta (Sections 122 and 318), and stone-oven personals (Carew Atrium).

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While Papa John's was once ubiquitous with the sports world, it's partnerships have fallen off over the past few months due to Schnatter's actions.

McConnell says he isn't aware of the contractual agreements on the stadium naming but expressed confidence that new university president Neeli Bendapudi would handle it "very well".

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

"Over the last 24 hours, our community has been fractured by the comments made by former UofL trustee John Schnatter", Bendapudi said in a statement.

Papa John's did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report.

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The slur occurred during a media training conference call in May between top staff at Papa John's and a marketing agency called Laundry Service.

While on a call with a marketing agency, John defended his comments about the National Football League, saying KFC didn't face backlash when "Colonel Sanders called blacks n--s", Forbes reported.

The Washington Nationals have severed ties with Papa John's days after founder John Schnatter resigned as chairman of the company's board.

The company can not afford to alienate customers, with sales already under pressure from rivals such as Domino's.

Papa John's International Inc., which began operations in 1984, has more than 5,200 locations globally.

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MLB's "Papa Slam" promotion gave people discounts on pizza when players hit grand slams.

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