Rays suspend Papa John's pizza promotion


The University of Louisville also said Schnatter resigned from its board of trustees, and that the school will evaluate the naming arrangement for Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.

"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.

John Schnatter, the pizza chain founder, admitted earlier this week that he used the N-word during an internal conference call.

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. The pizza chain said Friday there are no plans to change its name.

Keith Hollingsworth, a professor at Morehouse College's business department, said keeping Schnatter on marketing would be a signal to people that the company does not have a problem with his comments, or that it didn't think they were a big deal.

Top executives chose to remove Schnatter but details are still being worked out.

"Regardless of the context, I apologize", the statement said.

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

Thursday, two Louisville players spoke out against the name of the stadium. "This is our best decision".

Following the news that Schnatter had left the pizza chain that he founded in 1984, Papa John's shares climbed.

Papa John's stock is up almost 3% Friday on the news.

Schnatter, who was a longtime visible presence in Papa John's commercial campaigns, admitted to making a racial slur during a company conference call in May. He also spoke about his childhood in IN and said, there, people used to drag African-Americans from trucks until they died.

Built in the late 1990s, the football stadium was financed with $20 million in donations from Schnatter and his company - $14 million in personal gifts and $6 million from Papa John's worldwide, according to a pair of naming rights agreements and extensions obtained by WDRB. While the decision to rename the stadium was effective immediately, Bendapudi was not sure when signage will be removed from the stadium.