TAMPA, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Rays have suspended their discount programs with Papa John’s Pizza after the company’s founder and chairman John Schnatter admitted to using a racial slur.
The promotion gave Rays’ fans a discount on pizzas the day after the team scored six or more runs in a game.
The Miami Marlins also suspended their promotion with Papa John’s. The team released a statement that Schnatter’s, “derogatory and insensitive comments are not at all reflective of the values of our organization.”
The moves come less than 24 hours after Major League Baseball indefinitely suspended its "Papa Slam" promotion, which gave fans 40 percent off orders after every grand slam.
Papa John's announced Friday it plans to pull Schnatter’s image from marketing materials. A person inside the company told the Associated Press that Papa John's executives made the decision to remove Schnatter as the marketing face of the company. The company is still deciding the details and exact timing of Schantter's removal from marketing materials.
On Wednesday, Schnatter apologized and stepped down as chairman after Forbes reported he used the N-word during a May training session. He also resigned as the company’s chairman and stepped down from his seat on the University of Louisville’s board of trustees.
Schnatter had stepped down as Papa John's CEO last year after criticizing NFL protests. He remains on the board and is the largest shareholder.
As of 2016, Papa John’s was the “official pizza” of 22 MLB teams, according to Five Thirty Eight.
Papa John's stock sold at about $55.28 per share as of Friday morning, which is higher than when it reached to a 52-week low of $48.33 after Forbes' report.
Editor's Note: Papa John's stock prices will fluctuate until the market closes Friday.
Editor’s Note: USA Today and the Louisville Courier-Journal contributed to this story.
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