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Papa John's chairman Schnatter quits after racial remarks

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Papa John's International Inc.'s chairman John Schnatter resigned, after coming under fire over controversial comments that battered the shares of the pizza chain he founded.

[TOKYO] Papa John's International Inc.'s chairman John Schnatter resigned, after coming under fire over controversial comments that battered the shares of the pizza chain he founded.

The independent directors of the company accepted the resignation of Mr Schnatter, the company said in a statement late Wednesday. Olivia Kirtley will act as the company's lead independent director, while Papa John's will appoint a new chairman in the coming weeks, the statement said.

Just seven months after exiting the CEO role after making critical comments about the National Football League's national-anthem dispute, Mr Schnatter came under fire following a media report that he used a racial slur and graphic descriptions of violence against minorities on a May conference call with a media agency.

Mr Schnatter admitted to using an offensive racial term during the call and apologized, according to a separate statement earlier Wednesday.

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"News reports attributing the use of inappropriate and hurtful language to me during a media training session regarding race are true," Mr Schnatter said in the statement. "Regardless of the context, I apologise. Simply stated, racism has no place in our society."

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