Papa John's Pizza founder resigns as chairman after apology for racial slur

Papa John's Pizza founder John H. Schnatter resigned as chairman of the board after he apologized for using a racial epithet earlier this year, the company said in a July 11 statement.

The resignation came hours after Mr. Schnatter apologized for using a racial slur in a comment about black people during a May conference call, according to The New York Times. Papa John's said it will appoint a new chairman in the coming weeks.

Mr. Schnatter confirmed in an emailed statement to Forbes July 11 he used the racial epithet during the May call. The article prompted Mr. Schnatter to apologize during a July 11 conference call, calling his statement "inappropriate and hurtful," after which he resigned as chairman.

He stepped down as CEO in December 2017 after he blamed the National Football League, with which his company had a sponsorship deal, for slow sales due to the league's handling of players kneeling during the national anthem, according to the NYT.

Papa John's shares slipped almost 5 percent July 11 after the Forbes report. While the company's stocks have plummeted 30 percent since November 2017, on July 12, stocks were up more than 10 percent after Mr. Schnatter's resignation, according to the NYT.

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