‘Papa John’ Schnatter claims he was ‘pushed’ to use n-word

Embattled pizza chain Papa John’s on Friday moved to erase the memory of founder John Schnatter — literally.

The chain, with 5,212 locations, said it would remove the 56-year-old executive’s likeness from its logo, promotional materials and other marketing efforts, days after he drew heat for using the N-word during an inter-company conference call.

In addition, Major League Baseball has discontinued its Papa Slam promotion with the Louisville, Ky.-based company, and at least 12 MLB teams — including the Yankees and Mets by Friday— dropped local sponsorships. Also on Friday, the University of Louisville said it would remove Schnatter’s name from its football stadium.


The 34-year-old pizza chain plans to hire an independent expert to audit all the company’s processes, policies and systems related to diversity and inclusion, Chief Executive Steve Ritchie said in a statement. Ritchie stressed that the chain, with 120,000 employees and franchise “team members,” is more than just Schnatter.

Meanwhile, on Friday afternoon, Schnatter, in an interview on WHAS, a Louisville radio station, said he was pressured to use the N-word during the conference call.

“The agency was promoting that vocabulary … They pushed me. And it upset me,” he told host Terry Meiners.

“It’s caused a lot of grief for my community, for my university,” Schnatter noted. “My employees are distraught, they’re crushed, and it’s all because I was sloppy and I wasn’t as sensitive. It’s the same mistake I made on the NFL comments.”


The executive caught flak in January when he said Papa John’s, a longtime NFL sponsor, saw its sales get dinged because of the league’s players’ national anthem kneeling protest.

Those comments led to him stepping down as CEO — and the NFL cutting ties to the chain.

Read more on this story in the New York Post.





Papa John’s to take John Schnatter’s face off its marketing materials

Papa John’s, which has had founder John Schnatter at the center of its logo and in TV ads, plans to pull his image from its marketing after reports he used a racial slur. 

The decision was made by top executives but details of the change are still being worked out, according to a person inside the company with knowledge of the decision who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly. The person was not aware of any plans to change the pizza chain’s name.

papa john's charles krupa ap

John Schnatter’s image is being yanked from ads and marketing materials following a report he used the n-word during a May conference call.

 (Charles Krupa/AP)


Schnatter has long been the face of the brand, and the company has acknowledged in regulatory filings its business could be harmed if Schnatter’s reputation was damaged. Papa John’s got a taste of that last year, when Schnatter stepped down as CEO after blaming disappointing pizza sales on the outcry surrounding football players kneeling during the national anthem.

This week, Papa John’s was already trying to further publicly distance itself from Schnatter after Forbes reported he used the N-word during a conference call in May. Schnatter apologized and said he would resign as chairman. That prompted the company’s stock to recover some of the losses it suffered after the report, though the shares were down slightly Friday morning.

Schnatter remains on the board and is still the company’s largest shareholder with nearly 30 percent of the stock.

FILE- This Dec. 21, 2017, file photo shows pizza boxes stacked at a Papa John's pizza store in Quincy, Mass. Papa John’s plans to pull founder John Schnatter’s image from marketing materials after reports he used a racial slur. Schnatter apologized Wednesday, July 11, 2018, and said he would resign as chairman after Forbes reported that he used the slur during a media training session. Schnatter had stepped down as CEO last year after criticizing NFL protests. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

There are no plans yet to change the chain’s name entirely, a source claims.

 (Charles Krupa/AP)


It’s not yet clear how quickly the company will be able to remove Schnatter from marketing materials, the person with knowledge of the decision said. In addition to appearing in TV ads, Schnatter’s image is on packaging and at the center of a logo that is all over the company’s website. It was still there as of Friday morning.

Keith Hollingsworth, a professor at Morehouse College’s business department, said keeping Schnatter on marketing would be a signal to people that the company does not have a problem with his comments, or that it didn’t think they were a big deal.

“Five years from now, they might be able to start bringing him back. But at the moment, you have to be very decisive and show you take this very seriously,” Hollingsworth said.

Schnatter had used the slur during a media training exercise in May, Forbes reported this week. When asked how he would distance himself from racist groups, Schnatter reportedly complained that Colonel Sanders never faced a backlash for using the word.

papa john's charles krupa ap

Details of the marketing shift are still being ironed out, according to an insider.

 (Charles Krupa/AP)

Schnatter subsequently issued a statement acknowledging the use of “inappropriate and hurtful” language.

“Regardless of the context, I apologize,” the statement said.


Fallout has already included Major League Baseball indefinitely suspending a promotion with Papa John’s that offered people discounts at the pizza chain after a player hit a grand slam. The University of Louisville also said Schnatter resigned from its board of trustees, and that the school will evaluate the naming arrangement for Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Papa John’s, based in Louisville, Kentucky, began operations in 1984 and had more than 5,200 locations globally. For the first three months of this year, the chain said a key sales figure fell 5.3 percent in North America.

Mayor removes ‘Papa John’ Schnatter’s name from hometown gym in wake of controversy, mails back $400K donation

The fallout from ‘Papa John’ Schnatter’s use of a racial slur continues in the wake of his resignation.

Mike Moore, the mayor of Schnatter’s hometown of Jeffersonville, Ind., has announced that a fieldhouse named for the controversial Papa John’s founder will no longer bear his name. He has also mailed back a donation Schnatter had committed to the building in 2017.

“The city of Jeffersonville represents a very diverse community,” Mayor Moore said Wednesday, as reported by the Louisville Courier Journal. “It was a tough decision, but I believe it was the right decision.”

Mike Moore, the mayor of John Schnatter’s hometown, announced news that a gym center in the town would no longer bear the Papa John’s founder’s name.

 (Jeffersonville Mayor’s Office)


The fieldhouse, which since 2017 was known as the John H. Schnatter–Nachand Fieldhouse, will revert back to its original name: Nachand Fieldhouse.

Schnatter’s name was added to the building after he pledged $800,000 toward its renovations, which are currently ongoing. Moore confirmed to Fox News that he mailed back $400,000 of Schnatter’s pledged donation — the entirety of what he says Shnatter had paid so far — back on Thursday morning.

Nachand Fieldhouse goog

The John H. Schnatter – Nachand Fieldhouse, seen here with its original name in 2015, will revert back to just “Nachand Fieldhouse.”

Papa John’s confirmed on Wednesday that Schnatter had resigned from the company’s board following a Forbes report claiming he used the N-word during a conference call with a marketing firm in May 2018.


Citing “a source with knowledge of the event,” Forbes reported that Schantter was taking part in a role-playing exercise in the wake of his comments concerning the NFL, and him placing blame on the league’s national anthem protests for the company’s sales. During the call, he reportedly said “Colonel Sanders called blacks n—-“ and never faced backlash.

He also allegedly stated that, in his home state of Indiana, “people used to drag African-Americans from trucks until they died,” reportedly intending for the sentiment to convey his opposition to racism.

The marketing firm on the call, Laundry Service, later terminated their contract with Papa John’s.

Schnatter apologized for the remarks Wednesday. “News reports attributing the use of inappropriate and hurtful language to me during a media training session regarding race are true,” said Schnatter in a statement released by Papa John’s. “Regardless of the context, I apologize. Simply stated, racism has no place in our society.”


Schnatter originally stepped down as Papa John’s CEO in December 2017, after claiming that the NFL’s handing of player protests contributed to the company’s third-quarter earnings slump. Papa John’s ended its official sponsorship of the NFL in February 2018.

Fox News’ Janine Puhak contributed to this report.

Ford Fusion may live on disguised as an SUV, report says

The Ford Fusion may be getting phased out, but it looks like its name will live on.

Sources tell Bloomberg that the moniker is set to be used on a Subaru Outback-style SUV after the current model ends production in a couple of years.

ford fusion sport

Ford announced in April plans to eliminate its four-door cars in favor of a U.S. lineup comprised of trucks, utility vehicles and the Mustang. Included in the cuts was the Fusion sedan, which was the automaker’s fourth best-selling model in June.

Ford today introduces the all-new Focus car for global customers, featuring the latest advanced and affordable technology with more comfort and space and a better fun-to-drive experience.

But another model set to get the ax, the Focus compact, was revealed to have a future as the Focus Active, which is essentially a jacked-up all-wheel-drive version of the next generation hatchback, similar to how the Subaru Crosstrek is little more than an Impreza dressed in hiking gear. So the Bloomberg report is hardly far-fetched.


In fact, Ford already sells a wagon version of the current Fusion in other markets, where it’s called Mondeo, so lifting it a couple of inches and adding some plastic cladding around the wheel wells wouldn’t be too much of a feat or financial burden. That’s pretty much the formula that Subaru used to create the Outback way back in 1994 and an easy way to expand the brand.

Asked about the Bloomberg report, a Ford spokesman told Fox News that “while current Ford Fusion production ends in a few years, we’ll likely continue to use the name because of its awareness, positive imagery and value with consumers. However, it’s too soon to speculate on what that new vehicle may look like.”

Gary Gastelu is FoxNews.com’s Automotive Editor.

Chick-fil-A lovers line up for ‘Cow Appreciation Day,’ flaunt cow costumes

Chick-fil-A fans have been lining up all day to show their appreciation for the brand – and the Eat Mor Chikin cows – during the restaurant’s 14th annual Cow Appreciation Day.


Every year the fast food chain celebrates the made-up holiday by giving away free entrees to those who come to the store dressed in a cow costume or wearing some sort of cow apparel.

Last year 1.8 million Chick-fil-A enthusiasts showed up at one of the 2,200 participating stores between opening and 7 pm, when the Cow Appreciation Day ends. Fans were able to choose between 20 options for breakfast and lunch, which included favorites like the Chicken Biscuit or Spicy Chicken Sandwich. There were also three kid’s meal options.


“Cow Appreciation Day is our day to show our customer appreciation and honors our iconic Eat Mor Chikin Cows,” the brand wrote on their website.

Michelle Gant contributed to this report.

Alexandra Deabler is a Lifestyle writer and editor for Fox News.

Subway worker ‘shattered’ vegan customer’s ‘world’ by explaining mayonnaise has eggs in it

A Subway restaurant worker is claiming that he educated a vegan customer about how mayonnaise was made after she ordered her sandwich with the condiment. But her response to the lesson is what is confusing some people.

The worker – identified as Gabriel Caulfield-Bohlken – said a customer walked into his store and ordered a Veggie Delight sandwich.

“As I went to get the bread she asked me if I could change my gloves cause (sic) she was vegan and I had been handling meat. I did that, no problem, perfectly reasonable request,” Caulfield-Bohlken said in a Facebook post that has 66K likes and more than 43K shares.


“I get her bread, toast it and put all the veggies she wants on it, I start to wrap up her sandwich when she says, ‘can I get some mayo?’” he continues in the Facebook post.

The employee goes on to say he thought the customer was making a joke in the now-viral post.

“I look at her, she’s looking at me, I pick up the mayo, I’m waiting for her to be like haha jk,” he wrote, before telling the woman “You know mayonnaise has eggs in it right?”

“N-no it doesn’t, I get mayo every time, are you sure?” Caulfield-Bohlken wrote that the customer said.

“I felt so horrible, she stood there with such a distraught and defeated face, I had shattered this poor girl’s world,” he wrote.

Caulfield-Bohlken said he explained to her that mayo is made with eggs and then asked if she would like it anyway — to which she said yes.


The vegan woman then paid for her sandwich with mayo and walked out, he wrote.

The fact that she still ordered the sandwich has some people online calling her a “traitor” and saying she “did not do her research.”

“Don’t understand that once she knew the mayo wasn’t vegan, she still wanted it on her sandwich!!!
Makes no sense at all!!” one wrote on Facebook about the customer’s reaction.

“Only vegan online,” another wrote in the comments.

Alexandra Deabler is a Lifestyle writer and editor for Fox News.

Man slammed by internet for eating Kit Kat ‘wrong’ proposes to girlfriend with Kit Kat-shaped box

A Washington, DC, man has teamed up with Kit Kat to propose to his girlfriend after a tweet of him eating the chocolate candy went viral.

Last month, Evan Wilt was widely ridiculed on social media for how he eats Kit Kats after his girlfriend, Haley Byrd, shared a picture on Twitter.


People on Twitter demanded Byrd break up with Wilt because of his bizarre Kit Kat-eating method.

However, the chocolate controversy appears to have made the couple stronger. On Fourth of July, Wilt proposed to Byrd at the National Arboretum in Washington D.C. – with special help from Kit Kat.

“Haley is truly one of a kind and I knew I wanted to do something special for the proposal. When Kit Kat reached out, I saw this as an opportunity to create an unforgettable moment. We’re both very happy how everything turned out, but we’re even more excited to tie the knot in the near future,” Wilt said.

Wilt worked with Kit Kat to create the custom ring box, which was 3D printed to look like the classic chocolate bar and magnetic to break apart and reveal a diamond ring inside.

KitKat proposal box

The Hershey’s company made a 3D replica of the iconic chocolate bar for Evan to propose with.

 (Kit Kat)

“It’s a little surreal to think about all of the kind of people who were working on our engagement behind the scenes,” Byrd said after the proposal, which surprised her.

“I had no idea the proposal was coming that day. My mom tricked me into thinking we were going to take family photos at the Jefferson memorial, and when we showed up Evan was there with his whole family. When I saw the Kit Kat box, I just started laughing. It was such a neat experience, and I am beyond grateful that Evan put so much thought into it,” Byrd said.


The newly engaged couple went back to Wilt’s house for a surprise engagement party, which was stocked with a Kit Kat cake provided by Hershey’s.

The internet doesn’t seem to hold any grudges that Byrd didn’t leave him behind after his Kit Kat mishap – the news of their engagement was trending last week, gaining more than 15,000 favorites in one day.

Alexandra Deabler is a Lifestyle writer and editor for Fox News.

7 BBQ foods that are actually healthy

BBQs are a staple of summer but can be a minefield of high-calorie foods. There are healthier and smarter choices—you just need to know what they are.


Available year-round, zucchini is at its best during the summer season, especially if freshly plucked from your own garden. A delicious source of potassium, vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, and fiber, it packs a nutritious punch for a mere 27 calories per cup cooked. Registered dietitian Rachael Hartley says summer vegetables like zucchini, simply seasoned with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper, are delicious on the grill. “I like to make extra and use leftovers for pasta, salads, and sandwiches during the week,” says Hartley.


New York City-based nutritionist Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD says, “there’s nothing better than sweet summer corn. I like to throw it on an indoor grill in the husks. It gives a nice smoky charred flavor. To make it a little special, top with cotija cheese and a squeeze of lime.” A medium ear of corn offers about 3 grams of fiber, some protein, and potassium. Corn also contains the compounds lutein and zeaxanthin, which have been linked to reduced risk for macular degeneration according to a 2015 article in the Journal of Ophthalmology.


“Many people don’t realize that you can grill avocado,” says Rizzo. “Just cut it in half, remove the pit and throw it face-down on the grill. It will get these beautiful grill marks and become warm and creamy.” Avocado is a source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, fiber, vitamin K, and folate. A recent study from Tufts University also found that an avocado a day improved brain function in older adults.

Veggie burgers

Stephanie McKercher, RD, a Colorado-based recipe developer at The Grateful Grazer, recommends a meatless option made from chickpeas— like her moroccan-spiced chickpea burgers. “They’re made with lots of herbs and spices and a hearty mix of chickpeas and whole grains. Even meat-lovers will want to give this one a try!” says McKercher. Chickpeas boast 6 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein per half cup, are rich in folate, and have some calcium and iron.

Grain salad

Ancient grains appear more often at get-togethers these days than the standard pasta salad. A member of the wheat family, farro qualifies as an ancient grain. It has more fiber and protein than brown rice and contains magnesium which, according to Tufts University, may help lower the risk of diabetes. McKercher says “a swoon-worthy salad makes it easy to add a few fruits and veggies to your barbecue plate. I like to serve up farro with seasonal produce and creamy tahini dressing. It’s a crowd-pleasing summer favorite.”


With a mix of carrots, green, and sometimes red cabbage, coleslaw is typical BBQ fare. Cabbage is rich in vitamin C and K, and also has some folate, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Cabbage contains sulforaphane which has been linked with a healthier brain and improvement in neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression, according to a study in the Journal of Molecular Neuropsychiatry. Deli-style and supermarket slaws come with added sugar and regular mayonnaise; you can try to drain off some of the liquid or bring your own version made with nonfat Greek yogurt.

Potato salad (hold the mayo)

Potato salad is a staple of summer picnics and BBQs but there are smarter ways to enjoy this vitamin C-rich tuber that also gives you a healthy dose of potassium and B vitamins. For a good-for-you twist on potato salad, don’t rule out vitamin A-rich sweet potatoes for a summer salad. Culinary nutrition expert Jessica Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN recommends ditching the mayo and using Greek yogurt or a vinegar-based dressing instead, such as in her roasted sweet potato salad with honey-lime vinaigrette.

Read more on Reader’s Digest.



Couple takes Waffle House-themed wedding portraits after posing for Waffle House engagement pics

Newlyweds Scott and Katherine Sheely both professed a deep love for Waffle House on their very first date, so it’s no surprise that they went full Waffle House at their wedding, too.

The Sheelys, who said “I do” in Atlanta over the weekend, decided to share their passion with their wedding guests as well, and hired a hired a Waffle House food truck to appear at the end of the night. But that’s not all — Scott and Katherine also posed for wedding portraits in front of the truck, dressing up in classic Waffle House caps.

waffle house

The Sheelys hired a hired a Waffle House food truck to appear at the end of the night.

 (Genya O’Neall, VUE Photography)


“My All-Star Special,” Katherine captioned some of the photos on Instagram, making reference to a Waffle House dish (waffle, eggs, meat, hash browns) that they both consider a favorite.

“When he told me he was in love with Waffle House, I knew he was the guy for me,” she told Today.com.

waffle house

The couple even hinted at their hilariously adorable wedding-night theme in their “save the date” announcement.

 (Genya O’Neall, VUE Photography)

The couple even hinted at their hilariously adorable wedding-night theme in their “save the date” announcement, which pictured Scott and Katherine sharing a kiss in front of a Waffle House, and Katherine proudly displaying her engagement ring while holding a Waffle House coffee mug.

“My only stipulation was that we had to have some engagement photos at Waffle House,” Katherine told Today.com of her instructions for photographer Genya O’Neall of VUE Photography.

“I think she was a little taken aback.”

waffle house

“My only stipulation was that we had to have some engagement photos at Waffle House,” the bride said.

 (Genya O’Neall, VUE Photography)


Waffle House, on the other hand, expects other couples to follow in the Sheelys’ footsteps: In announcing the news on Instagram, the restaurant heaped congratulations on the newlyweds, but made sure to add a telephone number for interested parties with “catering and food truck inquiries.”

Summer’s sexiest swimsuit trend | Fox News

This summer, ditch the string bikini and grab the season’s trendiest swimsuit: the one-piece.

Equally as sexy as a bikini, the one-piece has become the go-to style for every celeb, whether they’re at the beach, lounging by the pool or just posing for Instagram.


From “Baywatch”-esque high-cut legs to graphic cut-outs to down-to-there deep Vs, there’s a style that looks good on every body type.

So before you go buy one yourself, check out these celebs sporting your new favorite suit, below.


Vanessa Hudgens 

Ashley Tisdale

Kim Kardashian

Demi Lovato

Kylie Jenner

Lea Michele

Selena Gomez 

Bella Hadid

Ashley Graham

Alessandra Ambrosio

Eva Longoria

Emily Ratajkowski

Kourtney Kardashian

Chrissy Teigen

Alexis Ren

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Ariel Winter

California couple finds time capsule message during home renovation

The writing was on the wall when a California couple decided to renovate their bathroom.

Twitter user Alex Monney and his wife, Jessica, said a contractor doing demolition of their home’s bathroom discovered messages and pictures left in their wall by a couple who had lived there in the 1990s. The home appeared to be located in San Jose, according to Mooney’s tweet.

The message read: “Hi! We’re the Shinsekis! We remodeled this bathroom Summer 1995. If you are reading this, that means you’re remodeling the bathroom again. What’s wrong with the way we did it?!?!?”

A taped picture of the Shinsekis accompanied the handwritten note.

Below it was a picture of what appeared to be the Shinseki’s black and white pet rabbit.

“Hi! I’m Cassie the Bunny Rabbit. I lived here too! (I’m potty trained!),” the note said. “I’m going to be the next Cadbury Bunny.”

Jessica Monney tweeted that the surprising find “made my day.”

She also shared pictures of what the bathroom looked like before demolition.

“If you know me, you know I love house projects. However, even I think I might be a little crazy for kicking off a bathroom remodel 4 weeks before I’m due,” she wrote. “Bye bye bathroom!👋🏻

The image of the Shinsekis’ message was posted by Alex Monney on Tuesday and went viral, gaining more than 11,000 retweets and 53,300 shares as of Wednesday.

It also prompted Twitter and Reddit sleuths to help the Monneys track down the Shinsekis.

One Twitter user, named Jay Shinseki, tweeted back at the couple to say he believed the picture was of his younger brother.

Another Twitter user, Elissa Shinseki, also replied to the couple’s post and said she was “at my grandparents [home] and working on figuring this out!”

She said her grandparents were certain the man in the picture was not former Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki.

“My grandpa is first cousins with General Eric, so we’re convinced it’s not him,” she tweeted.


Fox News reached out to the Monneys and Jay Shinseki for comment, but did not receive a response.

Great white shark surprises New Jersey fishermen: ‘This is crazy’

After about 7 hours of fishing for tuna 40 miles off the coast of New Jersey on Sunday, fisherman Chris O’Neill and three other crew members decided to come closer to shore and search for mako sharks, a popular game fish in the area.

The group — which included Chris’ uncle Joe, Sam Messler and Robert McLaughlin — put out three fishing lines at 20, 40 and 65 feet deep. After about 45 minutes, O’Neill noticed the 40-foot reel start to turn. The crew waited quietly for about two minutes before the reel started to scream.

“We started reeling it in. At first, we didn’t know what we had, though we were hoping it was mako,” O’Neill, of Little Egg Harbor, told Fox News.


Within 15 minutes, a fin surfaced and the fishermen pulled the creature to the side of the boat. As O’Neill turned the 4- to 6-foot fish over, he saw its jaw and knew “right away” it wasn’t a mako: it was a great white.

“As soon as its head flashed out of water we knew what it was,” O’Neill said. “We’re fishermen. We do this a lot. You get to know the species.”

The great white shark’s triangular-shaped teeth, large gills and broad jawline are dead giveaways, O’Neill described.

Great White Shark

A great white shark is seen off the coast of New Jersey.

 (Courtesy Chris O’Neill)

As soon as he identified the shark as a great white, O’Neill, following fishing regulations in the state, carefully cut it loose.


“We knew we had to release it as quickly as possible. We were like, ‘Oh yeah, that’s got to go,” O’Neill said, adding that it only took about 30 seconds for them to unhook it.

The great white shark doesn’t have a legal conservation status in New Jersey but it’s still “illegal to take, possess, land, purchase, or sell them within the state,” the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey explains on its website.

While he didn’t get to see the great white for long, O’Neill said it was still memorable. After all, it was his first great white shark encounter.

“I was like, ‘This is crazy,” O’Neill recalled. 

O’Neill sent to photos to his friend, who works at Fishermans Headquarters in Ship Bottom. The bait and tackle shop posted a photo of the great white on its Facebook page — and the story of O’Neill’s wild adventure took off from there.

“It wasn’t meant to be a big huge thing,” O’Neill admitted, though he said it was still a “wild experience.”

Jennifer Earl is an SEO editor for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter @jenearlyspeakin.