Louisville reverend calls for boycott of Papa John's pizza amid controversy

Louisville reverend calls for boycott of Papa John's pizza amid controversy
The Papa John's brand has been impacted by founder John Schnatter's comments. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
The Papa John's brand has been impacted by founder John Schnatter's comments. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A boycott of Papa John's pizza is being called for amid the use of a racial slur by the company's founder, John Schnatter.

Reverend Gerome Sutton of the African-American Think Tank delivered a list of demands to the Louisville based company on Wednesday. Sutton, who said he had been waiting weeks for a meeting with CEO Steve Ritchie, has demanded several things - including the appointment of an African-American to the pizza empire's board.

He also called for a boycott of the chain on Wednesdays and Fridays, saying those are the two busiest days for pizza sales. Sutton urged all community members to stop buying the pizza, but specifically called on African-Americans to do so. The boycott would only persist until the group meets with Ritche, Sutton said.

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"If they do not do something, rather than clean house, they have opened up wounds that are bleeding externally," Sutton said. "They are doing the internal damage control and that's only expected."

Sutton insisted that he does not want Papa John's to fail because that would mean thousands would lose their jobs.

In addition to the boycott and board appointment, Sutton also wants Papa John's to take out 50 full page ads as an apology to Americans. He compared this instance to Starbucks, who closed all of their stores nationwide for training after two African-American men were arrested inside a store in Philadelphia.

The other suggestions will be presented to Steve Ritchie whenever a meeting takes place.

Sutton said he was told a meeting could happen in the next seven to 10 days.

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