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Major League Baseball suspends deal with Papa John's after founder uses n-word

13 July 2018

In the wake of the resignation of Papa John's Pizza founder John Schnatter after he used a racial slur during a conference call, the Orioles have suspended their "Five Runs or More" online promotion with the company.

The person, who was notified of the decision but wasn't authorized to speak publicly, was not aware of any plans to change the pizza chain's name. Papa John's got a taste of that a year ago, when Schnatter stepped down as CEO after blaming disappointing pizza sales on the outcry surrounding football players kneeling during the national anthem.

Forbes first reported on the comments Wednesday, stating that Schnatter used the racial slur after being asked how he would distance himself from racist groups.

"Colonel Sanders called blacks n--", Schnatter said, referring to Kentucky Fried Chicken founder Harland Sanders, according to the Forbes report.

The source added that although Schnatter intended for his remarks to show his stance against racism, multiple people found it objectionable.

Schnatter remains on the board and is still the company's largest shareholder. Schnatter apologized and said he would resign as chairman, prompting the company's stock to recover some of the losses it suffered after the report.

The then-CEO's statements about National Football League dragged Papa John's into the middle of a polarizing debate past year, garnering backlash on the left and support on the right. However, Schnatter remained the chairman of the company's board. The backlash was swift, with many promising to boycott Papa John's in response to Schnatter's comments.

Major League Baseball suspends deal with Papa John's after founder uses n-word