Papa John’s scrubs founder Schnatter from marketing materials

Papa John’s Pizza is scrubbing founder John Schnatter’s image from its marketing materials, the Associated Press reported Friday. The restaurant chain has featured its founder’s image in logos and TV adertisements.

His face was off at least some materials by late morning Friday, though the company said the exact timing of that process was still being worked out. Papa John’s said there are no plans to change its name.

Schnatter has long been the face of the brand, and Papa John’s has acknowledged in regulatory filings that its business could be hurt if his reputation was damaged. That scenario seemed to play out last year after Schnatter blamed disappointing pizza sales on the outcry surrounding NFL players kneeling during the national anthem. At the time Papa John’s was an NFL sponsor. He resigned as CEO soon after.

This week, Schnatter stepped down from his role as chairman of the board of the pizza chain after using a racial slur on a phone call, for which he later apologized.

Fallout from the incident is also having local repercussions. Schnatter’s hometown of Jeffersonville, Indiana, is also putting distance between itself and the man it once called a “hometown hero.” The mayor of Jeffersonville, Mike Moore, returned a $400,000 donation from Schnatter to restore the Nachand Fieldhouse, a historic gym.

Schnatter had pledged $800,000 to renovate the building, which also carried his name until earlier this week.

“I’m not going to allow that name with those comments to be attached to anything in the city of Jeffersonville,” Moore told CBS News affiliate WLKY. “An $800,000 gift to the city of Jeff is enormous, but the city of Jeff is worth more than $800,000. It’s not for sale,” Moore said. 

Schnatter is also a frequent donor to Republican candidates in Kentucky and nationwide.

Schnatter also resigned from the board of trustees of the University of Louisville, in Kentucky. But the university’s Cardinals Stadium still bears the Papa John’s name.

That led two Louisville football players to suggest on Twitter that they want the stadium renamed. The university’s president said she was reviewing the legal options to do so.

“There’s a legal aspects to it and we also want to be careful in thinking through,” said Neeli Bendapudi, who said she felt “disappointment” at Schnatter’s use of a racial slur.

“These are contractual agreements with the company, as well as him,” she said. “We’ll have to really take a look at it.”

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Categories: Business

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *