Louisville evaluating Papa John’s stadium name

Papa John Schnatter- The Founder CEO & President of Papa John's Pizza

Papa John's has a license agreement with Schnatter "related to the use of certain intellectual property related to his name, likeness and image, our business and brand may be harmed if Mr. Schnatter's services were not available to the Company or the reputation of Mr. Schnatter were negatively impacted, including by social media or otherwise", it said in 2017 annual filing.

Papa John's plans to pull founder John Schnatter's image from marketing materials following reports he used a racial slur.

While on a call with a marketing agency, John defended his comments about the National Football League, saying KFC didn't face backlash when "Colonel Sanders called blacks n--s", Forbes reported.

Schnatter, Founder, Chairman & CEO of Papa John's International, Inc. rings the NASDAQ Opening Bell at NASDAQ MarketSite on January 31, 2014 in New York City.

Still, Hollingsworth said he doesn't think the latest Schnatter incident will hurt Papa John's over the long run because people often have short memories.

The Minnesota Twins have "indefinitely suspended" sales of Papa John's pizza from their activation at Target Field, according to a team spokesman.

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Schnatter's face has been central to the Papa John's brand since its inception. "Regardless of the context, I apologize", the statement says.

A Papa John's spokesperson confirmed to the BBC that it will erase its founder's image from all advertising.

Earlier Friday, the University of Louisville has renamed Papa John's Cardinal Stadium "Cardinal Stadium". The company got a taste of that a year ago, when Schnatter stepped down as CEO after blaming disappointing pizza sales on the outcry surrounding football players kneeling during the national anthem. Oh, no, it was the "derogatory and insensitive comments" - the fact that he said one particular no-no word.

Many of Papa John's recent ads have not featured Schnatter. Several people told Friedland how inappropriate and hurtful his use of the word was. The University of Louisville, whose stadium Papa John's held the naming rights, has already announced it will remove the logo from the stadium.

Papa John's is the world's third-largest pizza chain, with more than 350 outlets in the United Kingdom and 4,900 restaurants worldwide. Schnatter owns almost 30 percent of the stock. For the first three months of this year, the chain said a key sales figure fell 5.3 per cent in North America.

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