University of Louisville Removing Papa John from Stadium Name - Higher Education
Higher Education News and Jobs

University of Louisville Removing Papa John from Stadium Name

by Associated Press

The University of Louisville is removing Papa John’s from its football stadium’s name after a report the pizza chain’s founder used a racial slur.

The company’s logo has been on Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium since it was built 20 years ago.

John Schnatter, who also resigned from the university’s board of trustees, apologized this week for using a racial slur during a company conference call in May.

University of Louisville President Neeli Bendapudi said the “community has been fractured” by Schnatter’s comments. The school is also removing Schnatter’s name from its Center for Free Enterprise at the business school.

“These comments were hurtful and unacceptable, and they do not reflect the values of our university,” Bendapudi wrote in an open letter to the university community. She said the new name would be Cardinal Stadium.

Schnatter said today he is “distraught” over the comment he made.

“Anything I say or do that hurts the people I care about … is upsetting, it’s not right,” Schnatter said in an interview with WHAS-AM, a Louisville station. The interview was recorded before the name change announcement.

“What I wanted to make sure is we got the apology out,” he said. “We don’t condone racism in any way. Regardless of the context, you just can’t use that vocabulary.”

Bendapui said at a news conference today that “there’s too much hurt around” the Papa John’s name right now. She spoke with Schnatter and said he supported the removal of the names.

Some Louisville football players called for the stadium name change this week. Wide receiver Seth Dawkins tweeted on Thursday that “We need to change the name of the stadium ASAP, I’m not here for it.”

Ricky L. Jones, a University of Louisville professor who speaks and writes about race relations, applauded Schnatter for agreeing to the name change.

“It seems that he understood it was needed,” Jones said in an email. “Hopefully, this marks the beginning of a positive evolution for him — not as a businessman, but as a human being.”

Bendapudi said the name changes were effective immediately but gave no timetable on the removal of the signs from the stadium.

RELATED ARTICLES >>
UofL Plans New Diversity Initiatives After Campus Climate Survey Administrators at the University of Louisville (UofL), following a period of leadership turmoil, are increasing diversity efforts in response to a campus climate survey that revealed faculty and staff concerns about inclusion and equity. The Campu...
The Minority Coach Roundup Week 5 This weekend was another exciting one for 13 of the 18 minority head coaches in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). In the game of the week Penn State and head coach James Franklin lost in a close game to Ohio State, currently ranked 3rd, 27 – 26. T...
More Pizzagate Fallout: Purdue Takes Name Off Building, Offers to Return $8M Gift The John H. Schnatter Center for Economic Research will soon revert to its old name as the Purdue University Research Center in Economics, and the school is offering to return $8 million Schnatter once donated following revelations that the Papa John...
Colleges Sever Ties with Papa John’s In the wake of the downfall of John Schnatter—the former CEO and founder of Papa John’s Pizza—amid the use of racist remarks, academics believe that educational institutions and other companies can learn from the organization’s mistake going forward....
Semantic Tags: