Papa John resigns as chairman after racial slur use on conference call

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Hours later, in a separate, 50-word statement, Papa John's announced it had accepted Schnatter's resignation, and that it would announce a new chairman soon. In the meantime, Olivia Kirtley will act as the company's lead independent director, the company said. The comments resulted in the company issuing an immediate apology to anyone who found the remarks "divisive", while rival pizza firms said Schnatter should focus on his company's product rather than external factors.

"Papa John's condemns racism and any insensitive language, no matter the situation or setting", the company said in a statement regarding the Forbes report.

"Regardless of the context, I apologise. Simply stated, racism has no place in our society". The group was going through a role-playing exercise meant to better prepare for public-relations challenges.

He caused uproar in November 2017 after he blamed partly blamed NFL players protesting during the national anthem for a dip in the company's sales.

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Schnatter owns roughly 30 percent of Papa John's.

Papa John's shares fell almost five per cent Wednesday on the NYSE after the Forbes report, closing at $48.33.

Schnatter's comments have forced the university to say that none of its board members condone racism.

Papa John's, the mediocre-at-best pizza chain and former National Football League pizza sponsor, effectively canceled itself toward the end of previous year when the then-CEO, John Schnatter, blamed slumping sales on the National Football League protests against police brutality and racial injustice. "Colonel Sanders called blacks n--s", Schnatter allegedly said, before complaining that Sanders never faced public backlash.

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Papa John's is the third largest pizza chain in the United States by sales, trailing Domino's and Pizza Hut.

Schnatter confirmed the incident in an emailed statement to Forbes on Wednesday. For instance, Chicago White Sox fans get 50 percent off after a White Sox win with a special Papa John's coupon code.

Schnatter then went on to describe his early life in IN, a place, he said, where Black people used to be dragged from trucks until they died.

Laundry Service ended its contract with Schnatter after the call.

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