Papa John’s just can’t seem to get out of their own way can they? In this latest episode of “As The Company Crumbles”, Papa John’s founder and chairman John Schnatter is accused of using the n-word during a conference call back in May.
According to Forbes Magazine (@Forbes), the call was reportedly between Papa John’s top brass and an outside marketing agency as they were ironically discussing how to fix their image after the scandal with the NFL. In that scandal, Papa John’s reportedly blamed the NFL’s player protest for their horrible 1st quarter sales. After Schnatter’s comments, the company was cheered and backed by numerous alt-right groups who latch on to racism, or suspected racism, wherever they can find it. Papa John’s was subsequently released from their contract with the NFL, who immediately named Papa John’s #1 competitor, Pizza Hut, the new official pizza of the NFL, leaving Papa J’s to watch the game (and money) from the sidelines with no major sports endorser.
“Colonel Sanders called blacks n*****s”, were a few of the words that came fumbling out of Schnatter’s mouth during the conference call, before he went on to add how African-Americans were dragged by trucks until they died back in his home state of Indiana when he was growing up. Landry Service, the marketing company Papa John’s had hired to clean up their NFL mess, and who were also on the conference call when Schnatter went on his rant, reportedly terminated their contract with Papa John’s immediately.
Of course Papa John’s came out with a statement about how they condemn racism and insensitive language and blah blah blah. But the damage had already been done. Papa John’s stock prices took a hit this morning as the stock dipped down to around $47/share before late afternoon gains that brought the stock back up to around $49. Before this news was released, Papa Johns was trading comfortably above $50. Before the NFL debacle, Papa John’s was trading in the $70’s and $80’s.