Papa John's will drop founder John Schnatter from logo and adverts

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John Schnatter quits as chairman after using racial slur during a conference call on how to handle controversial situations. McConnell, an avid Louisville football fan, said "there's no place for racism in this country". On Wednesday, he resigned from the University of Louisville's board of trustees.

In its 2017 annual filing, Papa John's said, "We depend on the continued availability of his image and his services as spokesman in our advertising and promotion materials".

Schnatter has also stepped down as the company's board chairman after apologizing for the comment earlier this week.

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The company had a strong relationship with the University of Louisville, but on Wednesday, the university announced Schnatter had resigned from its board of trustees and it would consider re-naming its Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.

During the call, Schnatter had tried to downplay his National Football League remarks, saying "Colonel Sanders called blacks n*****s" as he complained that the KFC founder never faced public backlash. Both companies company tied their brands to a single person - a risky endeavor when those people act counter to the brand's purported values.

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. That scenario seemed to play out past year after Schnatter blamed disappointing pizza sales on the outcry surrounding NFL players kneeling during the national anthem.

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Bendapudi did not comment on Schnatter's reaction to the stadium being renamed.

Bendapudi also explained she spoke with Schnatter, who supported the decision to remove the name so it won't be a distraction to the program, according to 93.9 The Ville.

Earlier this week, Schnatter used the n-word in a conference call orchestrated by a PR company created to prevent future PR screw-ups. While downplaying his anthem statements, Schnatter said "Colonel Sanders called blacks n--s, "Forbes reports". The stock was up more than 10% Thursday morning. "Regardless of the context, I apologize". "From our team standpoint, our partnership is with local owner/operators in Phoenix and completely separate from the national company". Take, for example, one from the summer of 2016, when Schnatter's usual red Papa John's shirt was replaced with a "Ghostbusters" jumpsuit in a 30-second TV spot and on a movie-themed pizza box.

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

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