Two University of Louisville football players are among a growing chorus calling for the school to drop the Papa John's name from its stadium.
John Schnatter immediately resigned his position as chairman of Papa John's Pizza, as well as his position as a UL trustee, after it was reported Wednesday that he uttered a racial slur during a May conference call. Schnatter, and not Papa John's, owns the naming rights to Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.
According to the Louisville Currier Journal, university officials indicated Wednesday that no decision has been made regarding the stadium's name.
UL football player Seth Dawkins tweeted, "We need to change the name of the stadium ASAP," and fellow wide receiver Jaylen Smith retweeted those sentiments. Both players are black.
Other Twitter users were just as adamant. Tweeted @dks6446, "@uofl needs to immediately remove the stadium name of Papa John Stadium to honor a decent person; not someone like John Schnatter who lacks character. I’ll never attend another game there while it bears his name!"
Schnatter apologized for his comments, which included use of the n-word. "News reports attributing the use of inappropriate and hurtful language to me during a media training session regarding race are true," Schnatter said in a statement Wednesday. "Regardless of the context, I apologize. Simply stated, racism has no place in our society."
"After speaking with John, I'm confident that his comments, while inappropriate, do not reflect his personal beliefs or values," Louisville Board of Trustees chairman J. David Grissom said in a statement, as reported by si.com. "No member of the board of trustees condones racism or insensitive language regardless of the setting. The University of Louisville embraces and celebrates diversity and is a supporter of all its students and stakeholders regardless as to their identity."