The name of Papa John’s is coming off of another collegiate landmark.
The name of one of the world’s largest pizza giants is coming off of another building, leaving another college campus, and will see a lot of money come back its way. Purdue University is going to not only strip the name of John Schnatter from an economic center, but they are going to give back the $8 million given to them by the founder back in April. This decision comes after the racially-insensitive comments made by Schnatter which have gone public.
John Schnatter’s comments and his use of the N-word have not only brought about a substantial amount of heat his way. Despite no longer being with the company, Papa John’s pizza chain has had to deal with a lot of backlash and is trying to keep its reputation high and let the world know that they do not follow his thoughts.
According to USA Today, Purdue is going to strip John Schnatter’s name off of an economic research center at the Krannert School of Management. Along with that, they will return the $8 million donated to them back in April.
This is far from the first school or business to break their partnership with Papa John’s after Schnatter’s racial comments, but one has to wonder how many more will follow.
On Friday, the trustees from Purdue voted to disassociate the university from John Schnatter and Papa John’s. Trustees chairman Mike Berghoff said that there was a lot of time put into this decision, but this move was one that needed to be done.
“The Purdue Board of Trustees has decided that the name of the university’s economics center, named in April 2018 the John H. Schnatter Center for Economic Research at Purdue, should revert to the Purdue University Research Center in Economics. Purdue will offer to return the funds associated with the naming.”
“The board believes this action is necessary to avoid distraction from the center’s work, counterproductive division on the campus, and any inference of any deviation from the university’s often stated stance on tolerance and racial relations.”
Last month, the University of Louisville also removed Papa John’s name from virtually everything around campus. It was taken off of the football stadium and business school while Schnatter withdrew from the board of trustees and stepped down from the Athletic Association.
While many schools are stepping away from their partnership with Papa John’s, the Chicago Tribune reported that Ball State is not one of them. The university is going to keep the John H. Schnatter Institute for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise as it is, and the name will remain.
Ball State said that Schnatter’s comment was not derogatory, but “an example of improper conduct.”
John Schnatter’s racially-insensitive comment is one that has caused a chain reaction of problems for him and Papa John’s. Now, the two are almost in a battle where the company believes they can move on while Schnatter believes they need him. No matter what, partnerships and sponsorships are being damaged and ended. They weren’t the first, but Purdue University is finished in its association with Papa John’s and they may not end up being the last.
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