Papa John’s founder: I should be company’s public face again

John Schnatter, the founder of the Papa John's pizza franchise, said Wednesday that the company should bring him back on as its public face, telling The Associated Press that his "persona resonates with the consumer."

"My persona resonates with the consumer because it's authentic, it's genuine and it's the truth," he told the news service.

Schnatter resigned from his post as chairman of Papa John's last month after it was reported that he used a racial slur during a media training conference call. 

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He told the AP on Wednesday that, despite the criticism he has faced, the public did not understand the context in which he used the N-word and that he could begin appearing in advertisements for the company again after he explained his intent.

"Once the public actually grasps what the board and what the management did to cause the problem and the truth gets out, of course I can be back in the ads," he said.

Schnatter previously stepped down as the company's CEO last year as he faced criticism for saying that NFL players' protests had affected the pizza chain's sales, since it was a corporate sponsor of the league.

But he remained on as chairman of the board until last month. Since then, he has accused Papa John's of mishandling the response to his use of the racial slur and not properly investigating the incident.