It’s been a little over a year since Papa John’s founder John Schnatter was slammed for using the N-word during a conference call.
Now, one historically black college is asking people to focus on Schnatter’s actions and now his words, reports the Associated Press.
On Wednesday (September 4), the founder and former chairman of the Louisville-based pizza chain announced the $1 million donation at Simmons College of Kentucky, the only private historically black college in the state, reports WLKY-TV.
The 57-year-old was CEO of Papa Johns until he stepped down in 2017. But it was a 2018 conference call that marred the restaurant’s image after Schnatter used the N-word while blaming disappointing sales on the NFL player protests, reports AP.
The company’s share price -- and sales -- fell dramatically, and it has struggled to regain its public image since.
In March, Shaquille O’Neal became the company’s first African-American board member and bought a stake in nine Atlanta Papa John's franchises and one in Los Angeles. Shaq is set to become the company’s brand ambassador.
“LA the DIesel is back, come by my new Papa John’s I just purchased,” the former NBA star wrote on Instagram with a video showing the restaurant's location. “We be jammin in there. Peace.”
After Schnatter’s big announcement on Wednesday (September 4), he reportedly left without speaking to reporters.
However, in a news release, the donation was described as a part of his “commitment to having a better impact by building better communities,” reports WLKY-TV.
Photo: Rob Kim/Getty Images