Ball State Severs Ties With Papa John’s Over Racial Slur
Ball State University on Thursday reversed its initial decision to continue working with Papa John’s founder John H. Schnatter and announced severing ties with the businessman while also returning the money donated by his foundation.
The move comes weeks after the university board decided to continue its support for Schnatter and not remove his name from John H. Schnatter Institute for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise.
During a media training conference call in May, Schnatter used the contemptuous n-word.
The university board has strongly condemned the racist comment and expressed hope that the decision would serve as a learning opportunity to better race relations and critical thinking.
“It is proposed that the name John H. Schnatter be removed from the John H. Schnatter Institute for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise as well as the related Distinguished Professorship appointment; and the Institute be referred to as the Ball State University Institute for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise,” reads the university statement.
“Accordingly, the funding from the original grant will be returned to Mr. Schnatter’s Family Foundation.”
The board was forced to take the decision after the university president Geoffrey Mearns differed with its earlier stand.
“Notwithstanding the Board’s strong belief in the power of conversation, President Mearns has advised us that such discussions with John and other good faith gestures would not be well received or effective, as long as his name remains on the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise,” the board further said.