‘Racist’: Ex-Papa John’s CEO Who Was Busted Using N-Word Whines To Jason Whitlock About Shaquille O’Neal Replacing Him

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Former Papa John's CEO John Schnatter Visits "Mornings With Maria"

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It has been nearly six years since former Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter stepped down from his leadership role at the pizza franchise due to the fallout over his use of the N-word during a company conference call—and he is still whining about it. Not only is Schnatter still complaining about being driven out of his position, but he is reaching the very peak of Mt. Caucasity by claiming it was “racist” that he was replaced as the face of the company by NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal.

During a recent episode of Fearless with Jason Whitlock—because we all know the only Black podcaster he could have come to with this load of white nonsense is the Uncle Ruckus of the media world—Schnatter continued to play the victim and shed the saltiest of white tears over “what they did to the white guy” that caused him to have to resign. 

“Of all the things, that was the most racist,” Schnatter said. “They’re going to use a black guy to cover up what they did to a white guy? That’s racist. Now, that’s racist. They did it, right in front of America. It was just a shield to cover up the infidelities of what they did to me.”

First of all, I’m pretty sure Schnatter is using the word “infidelities” wrong. Secondly, for all white people’s talk about how they “don’t see color,” they sure do see color immediately the second a white face is replaced by a Black face, don’t they? It’s not even completely clear whether Schnatter thinks the decision to make the former Lakers center the face of the company was “racist” against white people or Black people, but what is clear is that he honed on the skin color of the person who replaced him and nothing else. (Schnatter was like, “Shaq is Black, this is a whitey attack! BARS!!!”)

Lastly, what does Schnatter even mean by “what they did” to him? I mean, I realize no one loves revisionist history like a white conservative, but what history will show is that Schnatter did it to himself.

First, let’s be clear that the decline of Schnatter’s image in the court of public opinion didn’t begin with his use of the N-word. In 2017, Schnatter was one of many whiny white voices crying over Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem in silent protest over racial inequality in America. Apparently, Schnatter was not happy with Kap or with the NFL for failing to trample all over the former NFL star’s First Amendment rights.

“The NFL has hurt us,” Schnatter said at the time. “We are disappointed the NFL and its leadership did not resolve this.”

“Resolve” what exactly? I’ve always been confused as to why white people were unable to simply ignore Kaepernick and other kneeling athletes if their delicate sensibilities were so bothered by it. Again, it’s a silent protest. It doesn’t drown out their little stale-ass anthem. There’s nothing disruptive about the act at all. In fact, if white people weren’t so deathly allergic to minding their own business, Kap’s personal protest might not have caught on the way it did, and white conservative snowflakes wouldn’t have been as perpetually bothered by the act as they ended up being. Much like Schnatter, white sports fans really did it to themselves.

According to Forbes, the infamous conference call was an effort for Schnatter to repair his tarnished image and distance himself from the racist groups online that had rallied around him after the controversy. (Apparently, right-wing ideology and white supremacist ideology intersect a lot. Who knew?) At some point during the meeting, Schnatter pivoted to desperate whataboutism in an effort to take the racism allegation heat off of himself.

“Colonel Sanders called blacks n—–s,” Schnatter said, complaining that the Kentucky Fried Chicken founder didn’t receive any public backlash.

Besides the fact that the context didn’t justify his use of the sluras Black people have made it clear we don’t want to hear the word come out of non-Black mouths regardless of context—it was quite ridiculous and certainly tone-deaf for Schnatter to bring up Sanders in order to deflect from his own misstep. Sanders sold KFC in 1964—a time when white people, especially in the South, were still calling Black people the N-word to their faces and going on about their day. So, Schnatter wasn’t exactly helping his case by whining that rich, white CEOs can’t even be audibly racist without losing their jobs anymore. (Big “make America great again” energy though, right?) 

Anyway, after the backlash against him intensified, Schnatter issued an apology that almost made it seem like he realized his use of the slur was wrong regardless of how he meant it.

“News reports attributing the use of inappropriate and hurtful language to me during a media training session regarding race are true,” he said. “Regardless of the context, I apologize. Simply stated, racism has no place in our society.” (Yeah, John, that’s exactly what Kaepernick was saying.)

At the end of the day, Papa John’s ditched Schnatter for the same reason any company might let someone go to protect its brand—John’s presence was compromising the company’s bottom line. Now, the guy who appeared to want Kaepernick canceled for kneeling is crying about cancel culture driving him out of his position.

It’s almost as if white people are complete hypocrites when they accuse Black people of blaming everyone else for their problems. Go figure.

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