Ex-Papa John's chairman John Schnatter says he was tricked into using the N-word by a marketing firm during a conference call/training session in May.
Schnatter was forced to step down as chairman and CEO of Papa John's after Forbes reported he used the racial epithet during a training call about avoiding public scandals after e complained that kneeling NFL players hurt his profits.
“Colonel Sanders called blacks ‘n-----s,'" Schnatter said, according to Forbes.
During an interview with a local radio station in Louisville, Schnatter accused Laundry Service, his former ad agency, of “promoting that vocabulary” during the call.
“They were promoting that kind of vocabulary, and they kept hitting it and I was like no, we’re not going to do that. That’s not what we're about.'" Schnatter told WHAS.
In another interview with Kentucky affiliate WLKY, Schnatter said the advertising firm tried to extort him for $6 million.
“If I don't get my ‘f--king money, I’m going to bury the founder,” Schnatter claims an executive said. “They tried to extort us and we held firm, and they took what I said and ran to Forbes, and Forbes printed it and it went viral.”
Schnatter was forced out of the company he founded in a converted broom closet in the back of his father's Jeffersonville, Indiana tavern in 1984. He was removed from pizza boxes and his name was removed from Louisville Stadium. He was also kicked out of the company's Louisville headquarters.
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