Not all heroes wear capes. Some wear black crew-neck t-shirts underneath bright red button-up dress shirts with the Papa John’s logo emblazoned on the chest.
John Schnatter, founder and former CEO of the Papa John’s Pizza franchise, wants the world to know that he’s not a racist piece of shit and has, in fact, spent the last 20 months eradicating the N-word from his vocabulary. This comes nearly three years after Schnatter resigned as Papa John’s chairman after saying, “Colonel Sanders called blacks niggers and Sanders never faced public backlash” amid a conference call with their marketing agency, Laundry Service.
During an interview with right-wing network OAN on Monday, Schnatter said that the so-called “smears” against him left him in a “state of shock.”
“You have a public board that paints its chairman—complicit, passive, or active—they paint the founder as a racist, they now he’s not a racist, it’s just unbelievable,” Schnatter said. “I used to lay at bed just going, ‘how did they do this?’”
The conversation only got weirder from there.
“We’ve had three goals for the last 20 months,” Schnatter began. “To get rid of this N-word in my vocabulary—and dictionary and everything else, because it’s just not true—figure out how they did this, and get on with my life.”
Frankly, I can’t quite decipher what the hell this man is saying. Is he... admitting to eliminating a slur from his vocabulary, but also denying that he’s racist? The math isn’t mathing.
Schnatter is in an ongoing legal battle with Laundry Service, which he blames for his downfall. In a lawsuit, Schantter alleges that Laundry Service CEO, Jason Stein, conspired to do additional harm to his reputation. Of course, the fact that Laundry Service was called in to help do some damage control following Schnatter’s chronic case of foot in mouth disease suggests that Schnatter’s reputation was already heading in the wrong direction. In 2017, Schnatter resigned as CEO after he blamed falling pizza sales on the National Football League’s inaction against players kneeling in opposition to police brutality. He maintained his role as Chairman of the Board at Papa John’s until he dropped the N-bombs during the conference call, a call which also included Schnatter remembering how black people used to be dragged from the back of trucks and killed in his home state of Indiana.
I can safely say this definitely sounds like a guy who can’t stop saying “nigger.”