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Papa John's founder John Schnatter says he shouldn't have resigned

Papa John's founder John Schnatter says he shouldn't have resigned Papa John's founder John Schnatter says he shouldn't have...

Papa John's founder John Schnatter says he shouldn't have resigned

Papa John's founder John Schnatter says he shouldn't have resignedCLOSE

Papa John's founder John Schnatter is no longer board chairman after using a racial slur, but he remains the company's largest shareholder. Ricky L. Jones, a university professor says it is evident that he has levels of racial insensitivity. (July 12)

Papa John's founder John Schnatter, signaling he's not going away without a fight, now says he made a mistake in resigning as chairman of the pizza empire he created.

In a letter to the company's board Saturday, he also charged that it acted on "rumor and innuendo" in asking him to step down without conducting an investigation of his use of a racial slur during a training session in May.

&quo t;I am confident that an examination of the facts will bear out what I have written in this letter and show that once again our company has demonstrated that it does not know how to handle a crisis based on misinformation," Schnatter said in the letter, which was provided to the Courier Journal by a public relations firm he has retained.

“I will not allow either my good name or the good name of the company I founded and love to be unfairly tainted," he said.

In a separate letter, Schnatter's lawyer, Patricia Glaser, advises the board that it would be acting illegally if it tries to remove him as a director and that individual directors would be liable for damages if they do so. Schnatter, who owns about 30 percent of the company, remains on its board.

Glaser, a well-known Los Angeles trial lawyer, has represented several high-profile clients, including celebrity chef Paula Deen, disgraced Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein and the Guess jeans boa rd of directors against its company co-founder Paul Marciano. The jeans mogul, like Weinstein, recently was the target of sexual misconduct allegations.

Schnatter's letter provides additional details on both the diversity training session and his claim that the marketing and advertising company that conducted it tried to extort $6 million in exchange for remaining silent on his use of the N-word during the session.

Schnatter said the May 22 "diversity media training" was conducted after testing showed that his return to doing the company's advertising would be successful. At the suggestion of Laundry Service, Papa John's Brooklyn-based marketing and sales agency, Schnatter said he agreed to participate, in part to prepare for his appearance at a National Hot Rod Association event set for May 26 in Chicago.

"I was asked whether I was racist. I, of course, said no," Schnatter said in the letter.

"I was asked if I was not racist, then why did I say what I did about the NFL situation?" Schnatter said. "I said if you look at what I said, it was in no way racist."

"The fact is, we completely mishandled the NFL situation from a public relations standpoint â€" both the Board of Directors and company leadership," Schnatter said.

"I then said something on the order of, Colonel Sanders used the word' 'N,' (I actually used the word,) that I would never use that word and Papa John’s doesn’t use that word," Schnatter's letter says.

"Let me be very clear: I never used the 'N' word in that meeting as a racial epithet, nor would I ever," he said.

Schnatter said the next day, Papa John's â€" "not me" â€" decided to fire Laundry Service, effective July 2. He said the company owed the agency about $1.3 million, and Papa John's agreed to pay it.

"But they said they wanted $6 million b ecause they claimed some of their people had been offended by what I said," Schnatter said. "Moreover, one of their attorneys said they would conduct a smear campaign against the company and me unless we paid them what he was asking for."

Schnatter said that "unfortunately, the company gave in to this extortion attempt and offered them $2.5 million, or roughly $1.2 million more than they were owed.

More: How rich is 'Papa John' Schnatter? You'll be amazed

More: The fall of 'Papa John' Schnatter: His mouth was his own worst enemy

More: Papa John's to pull founder John Schnatter's image from marketing materials

Adweek.com reported that Laundry Service Tuesday circulated an unsigned email to employees saying Schnatter's allegations are "completely false" but ordering employees not to talk to news outlets.

Calls to Laundry Service w ere not returned. Its parent company, the Los-Angeles based Wasserman Media Group referred questions to Melissa Zukerman, a publicist at Principal Communications Group, who said she had no comment.

Terry Fahn, an attorney at Sitrick and Company, a Los Angeles-based PR firm working with Glaser on behalf of Schnatter, said he didn't know the name of the lawyer cited by Schnatter.

Schnatter resigned last week as chairman of the board of directors after he admitted to using a racial slur in the role-playing exercise.

The fallout has been swift and enormous.

He was forced off the board of trustees at the University of Louisville where the new president also made the decision last Friday to remove his name from the school's football stadium. Other stadiums with sponsorships from the company also have pulled his name down.

Papa John's International also has removed his image from marketing materials.

The chain, which Schnatter founded in 1984 and took public less than a decade later, has kicked him out of the corporation's east Louisville offices and ordered him to stop talking with the media.

'Papa John' Schnatter through the years Fullscreen

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Papa John's founder John Schnatter. December 19, 2012 Fullscreen John Schnatter of Papa John's Pizza Fullscreen Papa John's founder John Schnatter chats in the hall after a seminar speech at the Galt East in Louisville.- Sept. 24, 1996 Fullscreen John 'Papa John' Schnatter. Fullscreen Papa John's International marked the opening of its 3,0 00th store by giving away fresh tomatoes and pizza slices in New York.- -CEO Nigel Travis and Chairman John Schnatter also took part in a ceremonial opening of Nasdaq Stock Market trading as part of the festivities, and the company donated $20,000 and fresh produce to City Harvest, an organization that feeds the hungry in New York. Fullscreen John Schnatter, founder of Papa John's Pizza stands on a staircase in the lobby of the company's headquarters. By Pat McDonogh, The Courier-Journal. Jan. 26, 2016. Fullscreen Papa John's founder John Schnatter tastes a spoonful of pizza sauce May 20, 1997. Fullscreen Papa John's Pizza founder John Schnatter told Anchorage residents at a special meeting that he plans to build a walking trail from the center of the city to E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park, regardless of whether the city sells him the five-acre Bellewood property. Photo by Chris Otts April 2007. *date of photo is unknown Fullscreen John Schnatter, (right) Founder of Papa John's Pizza, talked with Tracy Proffit (left) Chef Douglas Bond (left center) and Terry Lewis manager of the campus restaurant in Louisville. -March 28, 2009 Fullscreen John Schnatter received a national award for the two-mile public trail Schnatter built on his property in Anchorage earlier this year. - Nov. 25, 2008. Fullscreen John Schnatter received a national award for the two-mile public trail Schnatter built on his property in Anchorage earlier this year. - Nov. 25, 2008. Fullscreen Papa John's founder, John Schnatter, recovered the 1971 Camaro he sold years ago to support his business. - Aug. 25, 2009 Fullscreen Papa John's CEO John Schnatter, left, and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones announced a joint venture yesterday at the Cowboys' camp. - Aug. 3, 2004, in Oxnard, Calif. Jones announced a joint venture in the Dallas, Austin and Waco, Texas markets with Papa John's International, Inc. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) Fullscreen Papa John's founder and CEO John Schnatter spoke to shareholders during the annual meeting.Mary Ann Lyons, May 20, 1999 Fullscreen Papa John's Founder, Chairman and CEO John Schnatter gets a kick out of seeing his image on the NASDAQ tower in New York's Times Square, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, while celebrating the opening of the brand's 4,000th global restaurant. Fullscreen John Schnatter, founder of Papa John's Pizza. - Oct. 2, 2017 Fullscreen Louisville's interim AD talks with University of Louisville board of trustees member John Schnatter at the Cardinals game against Bellarmine. - Nov. 11, 2017 Fullscreen In this file photo from 2016, John Schnatter placed a pie in the oven at the headquarters' kitchen. - Jan. 26, 2016. Fullscreen In this file photo, John Schnatter, founder of Papa John's Pizza, is seen making a pizza in the kitchen of his company's headquarters. - Jan. 26, 2016. Fullscreen Papa John's founder John Schnatter salutes another board member before the start of the Wednesday meeting to decide Tom Jurich's fate at the University of Louisville. - Oct. 18, 2017 Fullscreen John Schnatter, left, CEO of Papa John's Pizza, arrives for a UofL for Board of Trustees meeting escorted by Buddy Dumeyer outside Grawemeyer Hall. - Oct. 2, 2017 Fullscreen John Schnatter, founder of Papa John's Pizza Fullscreen John Schnatter, founder of Papa John's Pizza. -June 19, 2017 Fullscreen John Schnatter, board member at the University of Louisville Foundation, during the first meeting since an audit blasted the organiz ation. Fullscreen Papa John's Pizza founder John Schnatter talks with other board members after the University of Louisville Wednesday. Schnatter did not speak during Wednesday's meeting. Previously he brought up concerns with the University of Louisivlle athletic department. April, 26, 2017. Fullscreen John Schnatter speaks during a press conference at the Louisville Zoo on Thursday morning. Thanks to a $1 million gift from the John H. Schnatter Family Foundation, the zoo's Leadership Campaign exceeded it's goal of $10.4 million for a final raised amount of $11.44 million. -Feb.9, 2017 Fullscreen John Schnatter looks over renderings of a new exhibit on Thursday morning at the Louisville Zoo with Zoo Director John Walczak. Thanks to a $1 million gift from the John H. Schnatter Family Foundation, the zoo's Leadership Campaign exceeded it's goal of $10.4 million for a final raised amount of $11.44 million. -Feb. 9, 2017 Fullscreen John Schnatter speaks during a press conference at the Louisville Zoo on Thursday morning. Thanks to a $1 million gift from the John H. Schnatter Family Foundation, the zoo's Leadership Campaign exceeded it's goal of $10.4 million for a final raised amount of $11.44 million. -Feb. 9, 2017 Fullscreen Papa John's founder John Schnatter laughs aloud during an interview with Alli Truttmann on Wednesday night at the Palace Theatre. 1/25/17 Fullscreen Papa John’s founder John Schnatter, shown at an unrelated event, attended an employee’s funeral. -Aug. 27, 2007 FullscreenReplay
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Although he apologized for using the N-word during that May conference call, he's since been combative in interviews, insisting in an interview with WHAS radio host Terry Meiners last Friday that the marketing contractor forced him into using "that vocabulary" and leaked it to the media later.

Schnatter was forced to step down as the company chief executive on Jan. 1 aft er blaming the NFL's handling of national anthem protests by black players for sagging sales during an earnings call last fall. The company had been a big sponsor of the NFL and official pizza sponsor of the Super Bowl.

Schnatter previously got in hot water when he complained in 2012 that providing medical insurance to employees under the federal Affordable Care Act would increase the cost of pizza and may put some low-paid workers out of a job. He later said his remarks were misconstrued and overblown.

Schnatter says in the letter that he and the company's board of directors reached a compromise the same day the report surfaced about the slur. The board wanted him to resign altogether. He agreed instead to step down as chairman and stay on the board.

The company stock dove on news of his comments last week but rebounded by 12 percent following the news he was out.

Read or Share this story: https://usat.ly/2JyamlqSource: Google News US Business | Netizen 24 United States

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