Major League Baseball suspends Papa John's promotion until after All-Star break, pizza company says

“Regardless of the context I apologize,” Papa John’s founder John Schnatter said Wednesday

Papa John's, which has had founder John Schnatter at the centre of its logo and in TV ads, plans to pull his image from its marketing after reports he used a racial slur.

The two incidents with Schnatter seem to be linked, as Forbes reported that Schnatter used the N-word during a media training exercise. After consequently resigning as chairman of the board, the Associated Press reports that Papa John's will also stop using Schnatter's face in logos and ads.

Schnatter apologized for the remarks Wednesday.

MLB's "Papa Slam" promotion gave people discounts on pizza when players hit grand slams. In exchange, the company had a naming-rights agreement with the school that extended through December 31, 2040.

Schnatter remains on the board and is still the company's largest shareholder with almost 30 per cent of the stock. Regardless of the context, I apologize. The Miami Marlins, meanwhile, announced they would be closing the Papa John's concession stand at their stadium. Oh, no, it was the "derogatory and insensitive comments" - the fact that he said one particular no-no word.

After downplaying his comments from November - when he criticized the NFL over its national anthem policy, which prompted him to step down as Papa John's chief executive in January - Schnatter said that "Colonel Sanders called blacks n--s" before complaining that Sanders himself never faced widespread public backlash.

Schnatter's name will also be removed from the university's Center for Free Enterprise at its business school, university spokesman John Karman confirmed to The Post.

Friday's decision did not touch on UofL's ties with Papa John's as a company, including an exclusive deal that allows only Papa John's pizza to be sold in the stadium. Their statement condemned Schnatter, but noted that the Astros "are proud of our 10-year partnership with Houston Pizza Venture, a local Houston business and owner of the local franchisees".

The University of Louisville is renaming Papa John's Cardinal Stadium effective immediately, the school announced Friday. Schnatter subsequently issued a statement acknowledging the use of "inappropriate and hurtful" language.

Papa John's latest controversy has begun to cost the brand relationships with baseball teams across the majors. For the first three months of this year, the chain said a key sales figure fell 5.3 per cent in North America.

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