Papa John's John Schnatter denies being racist

Papa Johns Founder Claims he Was Pressured to Use the N-Word

Papa Johns Founder Claims he Was Pressured to Use the N-Word

John Schnatter, the founder of the pizza chain Papa John's, will no longer be the chairman of the board - or the face of the company.

Papa John's founder John Schnatter reportedly said he didn't want to work with singer Kanye West because he uses the N-word in his lyrics, according to a letter he sent to the company board of directors.

Last week, Schnatter stepped down after it was revealed he used N-word on a conference call with its ad agency, Laundry Service, in May.

Regardless, Papa John's has had an unexpected downturn that started even before the flap over Schnatter's comments.

In January, the pizza mogul - who owns 30 percent of the $1.7 billion company's shares - blamed the national anthem protests by NFL players for Papa John's declining sales. Schnatter remains on the board. "I agreed, though today I believe it was a mistake to do so", Schnatter wrote in the letter, which was dated on Saturday.

He added: "I will not allow either my good name or the good name of the company I founded and love to be unfairly tainted".

The move comes days after John Schnatter, the corporation's founder, admitted to using the N-word during an internal conference call.

The 56-year-old businessman has also accused the marketing company he was in media training with when he made the racist remark of trying to extort him out of $6million in order to keep the scandal from going public. "But they actually wanted to get into that vocabulary, and I said absolutely not".

A spokeswoman for Laundry Service has previously declined to comment on the Schnatter incident and did not immediately respond to a second inquiry on Tuesday.

The company's Twitter page had been silent following Schnatter's most recent comments until Friday when it tweeted an open letter from new CEO Steve Ritchie. "We're not gonna talk about this, '" Schnatter told Louisville radio station WHAS. "The company has specifically requested that Mr. Schnatter cease all media appearances, and not make any further statements to the media regarding the company, its business or employees".

In the call, meanwhile, also spoke of growing up in IN, and reportedly said that "people used to drag African-Americans from trucks until they died".

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