The founder and former CEO of the Papa John’s Pizza chain, John Schnatter, says he has been diligently working to remove the N-word from his vocabulary -- for the last 20 months.
In the summer of 2018, a recording of Schnatter using the N-word during a sensitivity training conference call was leaked and was sent to Forbes, which led to his resignation. But to this day, Schattner maintains that he is not a racist. He was in “shock” at how the board members of his former company handled the situation.
In a recent interview with conservative network OAN, Schattner spoke on his stance about not being a racist and purging the N-word from his wordstock.
“State of shock,” Schattner replied when asked about the headlines that surfaced during 2018. “Unbelievable. I couldn’t understand it. Again, you have a public board that paints its chairman… as racist. They know he’s not a racist. And we’ve had three goals for the last 20 months: To get rid of this N-word in my vocabulary and dictionary and everything else, because it’s just not true, figure out how they did this and get on with my life.”
Schattner continues by adding his displeasure with how the company handled the situation, stating, “If Papa John’s would just say ‘hey, we got in a hurry, we didn’t follow proper due diligence and process with Delaware law, John has no history of race or racism. There wasn’t anything on that tape that was race. We’re sorry, we made a mistake…”
During the conference call Schnatter was asked how he would separate himself from racist groups online, to which he replied, “Colonel Sanders called Blacks [the N-word].” To further his stance on the opposing side of racism, he then drew attention to his upbringing in India, where he said “people used to drag African-Americans from trucks until they died,” reported Forbes. When his remarks surfaced, he was embroiled in controversy and wound up resigning his position.
But since time, Schnatter has continued to say that the company conspired to wrest him from his position.
“All the stars were aligned perfectly with one motive,” he said. “And that is to get rid of me,” he said.