Papa John’s has gotten more bad press after they were accused of revoking scholarship money to HBCU Simmons College in Kentucky. Papa John’s blamed Simmons and Simmons blame Papa John’s, however, considering the pizza chain’s racist image, many were giving the pizza chain the side-eye.
Now Papa John’s has given the school at least some of the scholarship money.
In an emailed statement to NewsOne, they pizza chain stated, “We’re pleased to have delivered to Simmons College a check for $30,000 from Papa John’s to fund scholarships for the promising students there.”
In case you missed it, ten students were supposed to receive $2,000 scholarships for living expenses and a full one million was supposed to build a lodging facility at a Baptist retreat center in Louisville. Simmons College President Dr. Kevin W. Cosby said in a statement, “It felt as though someone has taken weapons of mass destruction and flown them into the hopes and dreams and aspirations of some of America’s most vulnerable students.”
However, Papa John’s is claiming the school refused the scholarship, according to Courier Journal. A Sept. 3 email read from Simmons’ director of development, Von Purdy, to Natonya Harbison, Papa John’s director of supplier diversity, “Thank you for our discussions on how to help support the students of Simmons College of Kentucky. In light of recent news, it is best to decline your scholarships at this time and perhaps look at other ways to partner in the future.”
But Courier Journal reports, “Simmons spokeswoman Krystal Goodner said Purdy sent that email because of pressure from Papa John’s chief of diversity, equity and inclusion, Victoria Russell.” Goodner claims Russell and Papa John’s “felt uncomfortable” about the donation.
Purdy also said at a press conference that she meant to write in the email “delay,” not “decline” the money. Goodner stated, “We did not at all, and we would never, turn any monies away geared towards our students.” Simmons will still provide the $2,000 to the ten students.
Papa John’s spokeswoman Madeline Chadwick said in a statement, “We were disappointed when the administration of Simmons College unexpectedly told us last week they would not move forward with the scholarship program we had offered in good faith.” She also said it is “absolutely false” the company revoked the scholarship.
In case you missed it, back in May, Forbes reported on a conference call where John Schnatter was asked how he would avoid white supremacist groups online, he referenced the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken Colonel Harland David Sanders, who died in 1980, saying, “Colonel Sanders called Blacks n***ers.” He also said that during his childhood, white people in Indiana used trucks to drag Black people to death.
Schnattr has since resigned but supposedly still profits due to owning almost 30 percent of the company.