Ousted Papa John's Founder Stuns With His Side of Story: I Was Blackmailed

July 16, 2018Jul 16, 2018

Papa John’s founder John Schnatter recently was forced to resign after claims surfaced that he used the N-word during a conference call with employees earlier this year. But Schnatter is now revealing his side of the story, which includes some explosive claims.

Watch the full interview below:

In an interview with WLKY-TV, Schnatter admitted he used the offensive word, but argued it was used only as an example of racism, not as a derogatory attack. He claimed he felt “provoked” into using the word by the marketing agency that was involved in the “strategy session” and training.

"I don’t condone racism in any way. Period. It’s just wrong,” he said.

Schantter reportedly told employees "Colonel Sanders called blacks n*****s,” but did not face the appropriate amount of backlash.
"It doesn't matter the context. The fact of the matter is that word hurts people. It was a strategy session, it was training. … I was just repeating what somebody else said,” Schnatter said. “I was actually kind of provoked a little bit.”

The marketing agency, Laundry Service, encouraged them to partner with a third party that apparently uses the N-word, according to Schnatter.

“By the fourth or fifth pass, I just said, 'No, we're not gonna be part of any such thing. So-and-so used the n-word, and we don't use the n-word, and we're not gonna use the n-word. And that's it.' So, we kind of shut that down quickly,” he explained.

Schnatter then revealed an explosive revelation, claiming Laundry Service “tried to extort us” weeks later.

"They wanted 6 million dollars to make it go away," he recalled. "The words were, 'If I don't get my effing money, I'm gonna bury the founder.'"

Schnatter responded, “I’m not for sale.”

Schnatter and Papa John’s stood firm against the extortion attempt. The company then allegedly took the story to Forbes and it went viral, ultimately leading to Schnatter’s resignation.

Earlier this year, Papa John's decided to cut ties with the NFL over the controversial national anthem protests, making Schnatter a frequent target of the left.

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