Via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Falcons have indefinitely suspended their relationship with Papa John's in the aftermath of the report that founder John Schnatter made racially insensitive comments during a May conference call. He stepped down as chairman of Papa John's board this week after Forbes magazine reported he used the slur during a media training exercise.
In fact, Schnatter's own company is trying to distance itself from him.
In a statement released to the press on Sunday, the company announced that it had launched a special committee to deal with the fallout.
Schnatter receives about $300,000 a year in stock options under the founder agreement, according the company's most recent annual proxy statement. Schnatter told Louisville's WLKY that he was not informed of the decision to rename the stadium until it was publicly announced.
"I will personally be leading this effort because there is nothing more important for Papa John's right now".
Schnatter also came under fire in 2012 for saying the Affordable Care Act could be "lose-lose" for Papa John's franchisees and employees.
He pointed out that Schnatter's type of behavior would not be tolerated from any employee at Papa John's.
The committee said it will oversee an outside auditor's investigation into Papa John's culture, including the company's existing processes, policies and systems related to diversity and inclusion.
After criticizing the league during the 2017 season, Schnatter had advertising pulled from the NFL and the split between the two led to Pizza Hut stepping in and becoming the official pizza sponsor of the league. So, yeah they tried to extort us and we held firm. In the first quarter, Papa John's same-store sales in North America dropped 5.3 percent.
Earlier this afternoon UofL president Neeli Bendapudi said she hadn't reviewed changing the name of the stadium, but I'd say that will soon happen.