Disgraced founder John Schnatter intends to sell all or part of his 31% stake in the pizza chain, according to an SEC filing on Monday, CNBC reports. The Louisville-based Papa John’s continues to distance itself from ever since reports surfaced that he used a racial slur during a media conference call.
Schnatter resigned as CEO last year and stepped down as Chairman after news broke that he used the N-word during the call in May 2018, while responding to a question about how he plans to distance himself from racist groups online, The Grio previously reported.
Papa John’s is the third-largest pizza chain in the world, with more than 5,000 stores, according to USA Today. The outlet notes that the company’s stock plummeted after Schnatter’s racist slur during a media training session. He also made controversial statements about NFL players kneeling during the national anthem.
With sports fans and influencers like award-winning journalist Jemele Hill calling him out over his remarks, the Papa John’s brand took a hit, and the board of directors responded by accepting Schnatter’s resignation.
Sorry racial injustice couldn’t be ended as easily as adding an extra topping and a side of ranch. https://t.co/XjhlxSMOR2
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) November 1, 2017
Schnatter’s image was then removed from advertising and marketing materials of the company he built. He filed several lawsuits against Papa John’s last year in an effort to take back control but ultimately dismissed them as part of a settlement, the report states.
He currently has no formal role within the company.
Papa John’s reportedly spent $51 million in re-branding efforts and they even tapped NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal as the new face of the company. He also joined the company’s board of directors.