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Evansville Courier & Press (Indiana)


The Indianapolis Colts and Pacers Sports & Entertainment have decried Papa John's founder John Schnatter's use of a racist term in a May conference call, and both are taking a wait-and-see attitude toward future dealings with the company.

Schnatter, who was born in Jeffersonville, Ind., resigned as chairman Wednesday after it emerged that he had used the N-word in a call with a marketing agency. He is still on the board and owns 30 percent of the company's shares, CNN reported.

At least a dozen professional teams have suspended or ended promotions with Papa John's. The Colts and Pacers are evaluating their relationships with the company.

The Colts released this statement: "As are so many others, we're disturbed by the comments reportedly attributed to Papa John's former chairman, and we are gathering more information about this situation before we move forward."

Pacers Sports & Entertainment released this statement: "We strongly condemn racism and insensitive language and they do not belong in our society under any circumstance and in no way represent the values of Pacers Sports & Entertainment. The sponsorship agreement between the Indiana Pacers and Papa John's International Inc. recently expired and the Indiana Fever sponsorship expires shortly. We are closely monitoring and evaluating the situation regarding the future."

Numerous Major League Baseball teams have taken action.

NBC reported that the Miami Marlins, Washington Nationals, New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles had suspended relationships with the company. The Dallas Morning News reported that the Rangers had suspended their Papa John's promotion. Fortune reported that the Minnesota Twins, Kansas City Royals, Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Rays, Atlanta Braves and Texas Rangers had suspended or ended Papa John's promotions. MLB itself has indefinitely suspended a promotion for discounted pizza after a grand slam. The Atlanta Falcons of the NFL suspended their dealings with Papa John's.

The University of Louisville promptly removed Papa John's name from its football stadium; it's now just Cardinal Stadium.

The pizza company is likewise expunging Schnatter from its future advertising or marketing, Bloomberg reported.

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July 18, 2018


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