Papa John's Pizza's Chairman John Schnatter resigned as chairman of the board, the company said Wednesday. Earlier in the day, he acknowledged using a racial slur during a May conference call and apologized Wednesday following a media report that also said the pizza chain founder had graphically described violence against minorities.
"News reports attributing the use of inappropriate and hurtful language to me during a media-training session regarding race are true," Schnatter said in a statement released Wednesday by the company.
"Regardless of the context, I apologize. Simply stated, racism has no place in our society," Schnatter's statement said.
The media-training company working with Papa John's opted to end its business relationship with the pizza company after the call, according to Forbes. The publication reported the objectionable behavior took place on a conference call intended as a role-playing exercise for Schnatter on avoiding racially charged mishaps in the future.
On the May call, Schnatter reportedly said the N-word while complaining that a legendary fast-food chain founder had used the word in the past without being subjected to public backlash. He also reflected on his childhood in Indiana, saying people used to drag African-Americans from trucks until they died, according to Forbes.
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