Before we dig into the latest weirdest divorced-dad-on-a-revenge-mission antics by Papa John Schnatter, let’s recap how we got here.
John Schnatter, the founder and chairman of Papa John’s, no stranger to making poorly-thought-out comments, used the N-word during a conference call in which he was attempting to figure out how not to be associated with people who use the N-word. He then resigned as chairman of the board and stepped down from the Louisville Board of Trustees. Major League Baseball suspended its Papa Slam promotion with Papa John’s, whose shares tanked.
After that, the company removed Schnatter’s likeness from all of their promotional material and logos. Meanwhile, Louisville removed Schnatter’s name from the Center for Free Enterprise at their College of Business, which he had donated $4.64 million for and the school also removed the name Papa John’s from their football stadium (formerly known as “Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium”), which was doable because the naming rights belonged to Schnatter and not the company.
Then, Schnatter appeared on a radio program and blamed the agency on the conference call for “bullying” him into saying the N-word. Then, a letter he wrote to Papa John’s board of directors after stepping down surfaced, revealing how he felt betrayed on all sides. Since then, Ball State, Schnatter’s alma mater, has also voted to remove Schnatter’s name from a building he donated money to. The company bearing his moniker has now started an ad campaign in response to all of the bad press, effectively trying to make it abundantly clear that they have nothing to do with Schnatter anymore. Oh and Schnatter created his own truther website and uploaded hundreds of legal documents in order to “clear the air.”
And so, that brings us to the latest update. The New York Post has obtained a 61-page letter that Schnatter wrote to Robert Smith (Papa John’s head of human resources), Olivia Kirtley (the company’s board chair), and Mark Shapiro (a company director and also the chair of Papa John’s corporate governance committee, and also the co-president of WME-IMG and a former ESPN executive). In it, Schnatter accuses Shapiro and other senior executives of “frat club” behavior, including lewd remarks and requests, homophobic slurs, and negative comments about diversity.
Specifically, Schnatter accuses Shapiro of a repeatedly expressed desire “to f–k” a female Papa John’s board member. The letter says that Shapiro would “travel a day early to a board meeting to accomplish this.”
On the flip side, the letter also accuses Papa John’s chief legal officer Caroline Oyler of telling Schnatter on multiple occasions that she wants ‘to f–k’ Rick Pitino,” Louisville’s then-basketball coach. Pitino, who has admitted to an extramarital affair as part of an extortion case, might seemingly be up for it.
Both Shapiro and Oyler have strongly denied the claims and accused Schnatter of trying to deflect from his own unsavory comments.
Papa John himself didn’t comment further on the letter or its contents, and while everyone is allowed to make up their own mind, we think you can pretty much figure out whether or not Schnatter is a reliable source when it comes to issues involving his former company.
Let’s meet back here a week from now when our divorced pizza dad does something else creepy.