Lately, Papa John’s has been as famous for racism as they are for pizza due to their founder John Schnatter. However, now NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal has announced he will be on the pizza chain’s board of directs. Social media isn’t feeling it.
O’Neal will not only be the board’s first African American director but he will also be their spokesperson. CNBC reports, “The three-year endorsement deal will net him $8.25 million, paid half in cash and half in Papa John’s stock. That’s on top of the $5.8 million on reimaging costs that the chain spent last year.”
He told also told CNBC, “The first thing when we met, what we talked about, was, you know, diversifying leadership roles and helping the African American community. As I think about all of the stuff that went on, I worry about the 800 franchisees who did nothing wrong.”
As for the founder reportedly using the N-word on a conference call, O’Neal said, “Let me be on the record saying that is not acceptable.”
In case you missed it, back in May, Forbes reported on a conference call 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 resigned by later said he “regrets resigning as chairman after using a racial slur during a training session and believes the company’s board mishandled the situation by pushing him aside without an investigation, according to people familiar with his thinking,” Bloomberg.com reported. “The people, who asked not to be identified discussing private views, didn’t say what action Schnatter might take in response or whether he would ask to be restored to his post.”
Nontheless, Schnatter was still profiting. He remained on the company’s board of directors and was the largest shareholder. Plus, he still owned almost 30 percent of the company and his wife “is a Papa John’s franchisee with one restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky, according to the company’s latest proxy statement. Last year, royalties earned by the company from her restaurant were about $76,000. Schnatter’s airline, Hampton Airways Inc., provides business travel to the company as well,” Bloomberg reported.
See the reactions below from social media.