ShareThis Page
Nation, World Sports

Louisville football players want Papa John erased from Cardinal Stadium

| Thursday, July 12, 2018, 8:57 p.m.
FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017, file photo, Papa John's founder and CEO John Schnatter attends a meeting in Louisville, Ky. Schnatter is apologizing after reportedly using a racial slur during a conference call in May 2018. The apology Wednesday, July 11, 2018, comes after Forbes cited an anonymous source saying the pizza chain's marketing firm broke ties with the company afterward. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)
FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017, file photo, Papa John's founder and CEO John Schnatter attends a meeting in Louisville, Ky. Schnatter is apologizing after reportedly using a racial slur during a conference call in May 2018. The apology Wednesday, July 11, 2018, comes after Forbes cited an anonymous source saying the pizza chain's marketing firm broke ties with the company afterward. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)

Current University of Louisville football players went on social media Thursday calling for Papa John’s signage to be removed from the team’s stadium after a racist comment by the company’s founder was publicized this week.

Seth Dawkins, a junior wide receiver who started 10 games last season, called for the name to be taken down in a Twitter post Thursday afternoon.

“We need to change the name of the stadium ASAP, I’m not here for it,” Dawkins tweeted.

The post had 109 retweets and 412 likes in three hours, including endorsements from some teammates. Senior wide receiver Jaylen Smith, junior offensive lineman G.G. Robinson and sophomore linebacker P.J. Blue retweeted the post.

When a responder replied that Dawkins could probably expect a phone call from a coach or administrator, Dawkins replied, “Yea I’m expecting one here soon but it’s outta hand at this point.”

Papa John’s founder John Schnatter resigned from the U of L Board of Trustees and the board of his company Wednesday after Forbes published a report that he had used a racial slur during a conference call. The call was scheduled to help Schnatter with media relations after negative fallout from his comments about NFL protests during the national anthem.

Schnatter acknowledged the report was true Wednesday and issued an apology.

Despite the apology, Schnatter’s hometown of Jeffersonville, Ind., on Thursday returned a donation of $800,000 and removed Schnatter’s name from a city gym and community center.

Late Wednesday, Major League Baseball apparently suspended its “Papa Slam” promotion, according to a report. The deal offered a discounted pizza to fans of teams that had a grand slam the previous day. On Thursday, the Miami Marlins announced they were suspending their relationship with the pizza chain.

The U of L Board of Trustees issued a brief statement Wednesday announcing Schnatter’s resignation. Board chairman David Grissom did not speak to reporters when approached on Thursday.

The naming rights to Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium rest with Schnatter himself, not the company nor the university, according to his contract with the university, and those rights run through 2041. The deal, outlined in a Kentucky Center of Investigative Reporting story last year, specifies that Schnatter can rename the stadium any way he sees fit, even removing the company name and replacing it with his own.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me