John Schnatter, founder of Papa John’s, is donating $1 million to Simmons College in Kentucky — is a Historically Black College and University.
“John is making and will continue to make an important difference,” Rev. Kevin Cosby, president of Simmons College of Kentucky, said in a statement, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. “His support will have a profound impact on Simmons’ capacity to serve our city, state and nation.”
“It’s been a pleasure to work with Dr. Cosby and Dr. Tolbert to learn about the important work they are doing in our community,” Schnatter said in a statement of his own. “I’m proud to support their efforts to help lift up those who want to better their own lives and the lives of those around them.”
This donation appears to be Schnatter’s way of making things better following the backlash he received after he was caught using the N-word on a conference call a year ago.
Schnatter resigned as the chairman of the board for Papa John’s following the damning recording of his comments. He also gave up his position at University of Louisville Board with pressure looming from the NAACP. Papa John’s headquarters are located in Jeffersontown, Kentucky, which is right outside of Louisville. Simmons College is located in Louisville, so that may explain why he choose that college.
A couple days after his resignation, Schnatter appeared on Louisville radio station WHAS, where he claimed that the entire interaction was taken out of context and he was pressured by the marketing agency on the call to use the slur.
“The agency was promoting that vocabulary, and I made it real clear: ‘Listen, we’re not gonna go there. We’re not gonna talk about this,'” Schnatter said. “They pushed me and it upset me, and I just said, ‘Listen, other people have used that word. I don’t, and will not use that word and people at Papa John’s don’t use that.’ And that was the comment. But they actually wanted to get into that vocabulary, and I said absolutely not.”