The face of Papa John's is no stranger to controversy

By Dakin Andone

Published July 14, 2018

John Schnatter, the founder and face of Papa John's Pizza, stepped down from his role as the company's chairman, after he apologized for using a racial slur in a conference call.

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It wasn't the first time he made an offensive or controversial comment.

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He used the "N-word"

This week, Schnatter admitted to using the “N-word” in a role-playing exercise to prevent public relations crises, Forbes reported.

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“Colonel Sanders called blacks 'n-----s,'” Schnatter said, according to Forbes, complaining Sanders never received backlash.

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The fallout was swift. Not only did Schnatter resign, but the company said it would remove his likeness from promotional materials.

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The company's name will also be removed from the Papa John's Cardinal Stadium at the University of Louisville, according to a statement from the school's president.

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He said NFL protests hurt Papa John's profits

Last year, Schnatter claimed NFL players’ protests during the national anthem were hurting Papa John’s sales. At the time, the company had been a sponsor of the NFL since 2010.

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"This should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago," he said. "The controversy is polarizing the customer, polarizing the country."

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His comments outraged critics and caused backlash on social media, leading the company to apologize to anyone who felt his words were "divisive." Schnatter also stepped down as CEO.

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He said Obamacare would raise the price of pizza

In 2012, Schnatter joined other business leaders in voicing his opposition to the Affordable Care Act.

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Schnatter said the healthcare policy would raise the cost of Papa John's pizzas between 11 and 14 cents -- a burden customers would likely have to shoulder.

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But Schnatter's claim didn't appear to hold up. CNN reported Papa John’s wouldn't have to provide healthcare for part time workers, and most of the responsibility would fall to franchise owners.

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Schnatter's comments came in the midst of the 2012 campaign for president. Several months earlier, he held a fundraiser at his home outside Louisville, Kentucky, for Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

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