Papa John's International Inc. (NASDAQ:PZZA) Stock Plummets

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Papa John's International Inc (NASDAQ:PZZA) founder and ex-CEO, John Schnatter, just can't seem to stop being racist. Following a report from Forbes on a conference call in May where Schattner made some, let's just say, unsavory remarks, Schattner admitted to using the language issuing an apology. From a statement by the founder, "Regardless of the context, I apologize. Simply stated, racism has no place in our society,". This isn't the first time Schattner has found himself under fire for charged political commentary but this is surely the worst comments he's made so far. After a steady year of losses for Papa John's International Inc (NASDAQ:PZZA) shares, this latest transgression will put major pressure on an already under-performing stock.

The Backstory

To figure out what's going on in this situation we have to go all the way back to the year 2017 where Schnatter blamed NFL players protests during the anthem for slumping pizza sales and faced an immediate backlash. The May conference call was made in order to prevent further PR disasters such as this one allowing Papa John's International Inc (NASDAQ:PZZA), along with marketing agency Laundry Service, and almost predictably it turned in to a PR disaster. When asked how Papa Johns would distance itself from racist groups online Schattner replied, "Colonel Sanders called blacks n-----s,", and then complained that he never faced backlash. Later in the call, Schattner recalled his childhood days where "people used to drag African-Americans from trucks until they died." Upon these revelations, Laundry Service owner Casey Wasserman immediately severed their existing contract with Papa John's International Inc (NASDAQ:PZZA). Schattner claims his comments were intended to show his opposition to racism. Good job. 

"Papa John" himself demonstrates what you'll get buying his company's stock


Papa John's International Inc (NASDAQ:PZZA) released a statement in response saying, "Papa John's condemns racism and any insensitive language, no matter the situation or setting. Our company was built on a foundation of mutual respect and acceptance... We take great pride in the diversity of the Papa John's family, though diversity and inclusion is an area where we will continue to strive to do better."

After a few too many incidents of John Schattner putting his racist attitude on display and years of subpar pizzas, investors are leaving Papa John's International Inc (NASDAQ:PZZA). Today the stock fell over 5% to 48 USD, over the year shares have fallen from their 77 USD high down 13%. Simultaneously direct competitor Domino's Pizza Inc (NYSE:DPZ) is up to 280 USD gaining 40% this year making it the clear winner by a rather large margin. As a result of the controversy, Schattner has reportedly resigned from the University of Louisville Board of Trustees after calls to step down from the NAACP. Papa John's International Inc (NASDAQ:PZZA) is likely to incur further losses as news spreads. 

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