Papa John’s founder claims marketing agency ‘kind of provoked’ him into using racial slur

John Schnatter, the founder of Papa John’s who stepped down as chairman after it was revealed that he used a racial slur during a sensitivity training call, continues to maintain that he was tricked into it.

Speaking to a local radio station, Schnatter accused Laundry Service, the pizza chain’s former ad agency, of “promoting that vocabulary” on a conference call in May.

The former pizza prince admitted last week that he had used the N-word during a training call about avoiding public scandals following his controversial comments in which he blamed protesting NFL players for Papa John’s sunken profits.

“Colonel Sanders called blacks ‘n—–s,’ ” Schnatter said on the call, according to Forbes.

But speaking to WHAS, he said the ad agency pushed him to use the term.

“They were promoting that kind of vocabulary, and they kept hitting it and I was like no, we’re not going to do that … that’s not what we’re about.’ ” Schnatter insisted.

In a second interview, this time with Kentucky affiliate WLKY, the ousted entrepreneur accused Laundry Service of trying to blackmail him for $6 million after the call.

“If I don’t get my ‘f–king money, I’m going to bury the founder,” Schnatter claims an executive said. “They tried to extort us and we held firm, and they took what I said and ran to Forbes, and Forbes printed it and it went viral.”

In the days since Schnatter admitted to using the racial slur, Major League Baseball cut ties with the pizza chain and multiple individual teams have distanced themselves from the company. He was also kicked out of his office at Papa John’s Louisville headquarters.

Laundry Service declined to comment when reached by the Daily News on Monday.



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