Papa John's name removed from Louisville stadium following n-word controversy

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The suspensions by teams like the Falcons and Seahawks ultimately may be temporary, with relationships resuming once the dust settles on recent events that resulted in company founder John Schnatter being excommunicated from the company.

Schnatter resigned as chairman of the company on Wednesday in the wake of revelations that he had used a racial slur during a meeting in May.

The committee of independent directors with the fewest business and personal ties to the onetime chairman was formed to "evaluate and take action with respect to all of the company's relationships and arrangements" with Schnatter, according to the statement.

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John Schnatter said he didn't know the University of Louisville was dropping "Papa John's" from the football stadium's name until Friday's announcement was made by U of L President Neeli Bendapudi.

Papa John's is struggling to revive its business as Domino's Pizza Inc. and a resurgent Pizza Hut eat into its market share. Schnatter told Louisville's WLKY that he was not informed of the decision to rename the stadium until it was publicly announced. - Schnatter spoke about the pizza chain's split with the National Football League, which came after he blamed the company's declining sales on player protests.

The committee said it will oversee an outside auditor's investigation into Papa John's culture, including the company's existing processes, policies and systems related to diversity and inclusion.

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Racism and insensitive language - no matter the context - will not be tolerated at any level of our company. I hurt people's feelings.

He added, "The entire senior management team will also be visiting key locations across the country and hold listening sessions with employees in our stores to talk about what they are seeing and give them a platform to voice their concerns". The backlash was swift, with many promising to boycott Papa John's in response to Schnatter's comments.

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