John Schnatter, the founder of Papa Johns Pizza, has been forced to resign after it was revealed that he used a racial slur during a conference call about how to avoid bad PR. The irony abounds with this man, but at this point his destructive influence that he’s had on his business over the last few years is coming to a close. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this.


John Schnatter, the Papa of Papa John’s Pizza has resigned as the chairman of the board of the company that he founded in the early 1980s. And the reason that this man finally decided to step down from his entire company, after resigning as the CEO back in December, is because it was revealed yesterday that a few months ago, during a conference call on how to handle bad publicity, John Schnatter used the N-word.

Now, for a little context, he was talking about how much blow-back he had gotten for saying that kneeling NFL players were to blame for his lousy pizza sales that year, which is completely unfounded and untrue. But he was whining about that and said, “Colonel Sanders called black people the N-word and he didn’t get that kind of blow-back.” Except that Schnatter didn’t actually say, “the N-word”, he said the N-word on that conference call about how to avoid bad PR. I mean, the irony of the entire situation is just absolutely overwhelming, because this right-wing moron doesn’t understand how to handle what’s happening to the company that he started.

The reason Papa John’s sales are tanking is because their pizza is not very good. As more and more local restaurants pop up all throughout this country, we’ve got plenty of channels out there almost exclusively devoted to people going to local restaurants instead of big chain restaurants, and yeah, that’s hurting big chain restaurants and fast-food places like Papa John’s. It’s not the only reason, but it’s a contributing factor.

Nonetheless, John Schnatter has continued his little right-wing crusade against kneeling NFL players that caused his franchise to lose their very lucrative NFL sponsorship deal. Pizza Hut will now be taking their place, so they’re going to lose even more sale. They’re going to lose more money. They’re going to lose more publicity. But at least, maybe, with John Schnatter walking away from the company that he founded, at this point, maybe they can rebound, maybe they can fix their image, and maybe they can prove to the country that they’re not a bunch of right-wing dolts who don’t know that it’s not okay to use racial slurs.

Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at He is the co-host / guest host for Ring of Fire Radio. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced