The fallout from Papa John’s founder John Schnatter’s controversial comment during a conference call continued Friday as University of Louisville president Neeli Bendapudi announced that the school will change the name of its football stadium to Cardinal Stadium from Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.
Bendapudi said during a press conference Friday that she has the support of the board of trustees in making this change.
UofL President Neeli Bendapudi announces she has renamed the football stadium simply “Cardinal Stadium”. States she also has the support of the board of trustees for the move. pic.twitter.com/zs9nDFo1wx
— Mark Ennis (@MarkEnnis) July 13, 2018
“Over the last 24 hours, our community has been fractured by the comments made by former UofL trustee John Schnatter,” Bendapudi said in a statement. “These comments were hurtful and unacceptable, and they do not reflect the values of our university.”
Bendapudi also explained she spoke with Schnatter, who supported the decision to remove the name so it won’t be a distraction to the program, according to 93.9 The Ville.
The school has a deal that runs through 2040 with Schnatter himself and not the Papa John’s brand, but if Schnatter leaves the company he can rename the building, according to ESPN.
Several current Louisville football players expressed on Thursday a desire to have the name of the stadium changed as well.
We need to change the name of the stadium ASAP, I’m not here for it 🤷🏾♂️
— Seth Dawkins (@dawkins5_) July 12, 2018
AT ALL https://t.co/84JlAPznli
— Jaylen Smith (@JaylenSmith_12) July 12, 2018
Muhammed Ali Stadium has a nice ring to it. 🤔
— Keion Wakefield (@BoobieWake11) July 12, 2018
Schnatter submitted his resignation Wednesday as a member of the university’s board of trustees after Louisville National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) called for Schnatter to either step down or be removed from the board, according to the Courier-Journal.
Louisville NAACP calls on @PapaJohns founder John Schnatter to step down – or be removed – from @uofl board of trustees over use of ‘N-word’: pic.twitter.com/sYFtGlwQVT
— Marcus Green (@MarcusGreenWDRB) July 11, 2018
He also resigned as chairman from the pizza company after admitting the reports of him using a racial slur during an internal conference call were true. Schnatter released a statement Wednesday apologizing, which said in part, “Regardless of the context, I apologize. Simply stated, racism has no place in our society.”
ESPN notes that his hometown has already removed Schnatter’s name from the city’s basketball gym in Jefferson, Indiana and they will do the same from the town’s Wall of Fame. Several Major League Baseball teams (Marlins, Rays and Orioles) also suspended Thursday promotions centered around the Papa John’s brand.
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