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Papa John's Stock Soars After Founder Resigns For Using N-Word

Papa John's Stock Soars After Founder Resigns For Using N-Word

Participating area Papa John's stores had offered 50 percent off pizza orders the day after a Nats win.

AP reports that Schnatter's face had been removed from some marketing materials as early as Friday morning, even though the company says all further details are still being worked out.

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. He resigned late Wednesday night. The Kansas City Royals also stepped away from Papa John's, as did the Miami Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays.

When discussing how he would distance himself from racist groups, Mr Schnatter said that Colonel Sanders, the founder of KFC, had never faced criticism for using the N-word, Forbes reported.

While many have put their relationships with the brand on hold, there were a few teams across the league that chose to maintain their deals with Papa John's, disavowing Schnatter's comments and praising the brand for its swift action, while cited long-running partnerships with local store owners and operators who shared their values. Schnatter subsequently issued a statement of apology acknowledging the use of "inappropriate and hurtful" language.

Schnatter had used the slur during a media training exercise, Forbes said. He apologized to her, adding that he didn't want to be a "distraction", she said.

Schnatter has always been the face of the brand, appearing on pizza boxes and in TV ads for the chain. 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 company can not afford to alienate customers, with sales already under pressure from rivals such as Domino's. All of these teams, and Major League Baseball itself, suspended relationships with Papa John's after Schnatter's ouster as chairman. For the first three months of this year, Papa John's said a key sales figure fell 5.3 percent in North America.

Louisville president Neeli Bendapudi announced Friday the school will strip the Papa John's name from its football stadium, renaming it Cardinal Stadium.

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

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