Papa John's founder John Schnatter said Saturday that because he used the n-word during a training session, it does not constitute a "slur." 

In an interview with San Francisco news station KRON 4, Schnatter blamed the company's marketing agency, with which he was on a phone call when the incident occurred, for overblowing the story.

"It wasn't a slur. It was a social strategy and media planning and training and I repeated something that somebody else said and said, 'we're not going to say that, We don't use that kind of language or vocabulary.' And sure it got taken out of context, and sure it got twisted, but that doesn't matter," Schnatter said.


"I hurt people's feelings. That's what matters here. And for that, I'm sorry and I'm disappointed in myself that something like that could happen," Schnatter added.

The pizza chain founder claimed that Papa John's marketing agency tried to "extort" him over the remarks.

"So, yeah they tried to extort us and we held firm. They took what I said and they ran to Forbes and Forbes printed it and it went viral," he said.

Schnatter's remarks come days after Forbes reported his use of the slur during a conference call last year. Schnatter acknowledged his use of the word, apologizing and later resigning as the company's chair. 

“News reports attributing the use of inappropriate and hurtful language to me during a media training session regarding race are true," Schnatter said Wednesday, in a statement released by the company. "Regardless of the context, I apologize. Simply stated, racism has no place in our society.”