A Papa John's spokesperson declined to confirm or deny the report, but said in an emailed statement that the company "condemns racism and any insensitive language, no matter the situation or setting".
Schnatter caused controversy a year ago when he said that Papa John's pizza sales were hurt by the NFL's handling of players' kneeling during the National Anthem in protest of racial injustice.
Papa John himself has also been forced to resign from at least one board he'd now been on, too; according toTMZ, Schnatter is stepping down from his post on the University of Louisville's Board of Trustees, effective immediately.
"After speaking with John, I'm confident that his comments, while inappropriate, do not reflect his personal beliefs or values". Forbes reported that Wasserman moved to end its contract with Papa John's after the call. After news broke of Schnatter's resignation on Wednesday, the company's stock prices plummeted 4.8 percent, reported Los Angeles Times.
"We've got to own up and take the hit for our missteps and refocus on the constant pursuit of better that is the DNA of our brand", Ritchie said.
The pizza chain founder used the racial slur in a media training session in May, according to media reports.
The mayor of Jeffersonville, Mike Moore, ordered the name John H. Schnatter to be removed from a gym which was renamed in his honor previous year after he gave $800,000 toward its renovation.
The call, which was between Papa John's execs and a marketing agency, was a "role-playing exercise" for Schnatter in an effort to prevent future PR screw-ups.
The agency didn't name either the client or the executive in the letter.
As a result, Schnatter used the May conference call to basically say that what he said was not as bad as it could have been. Fans could use a promo code at Papa John's to get 40% off their order the day after a grand slam was hit in Major League Baseball.
Shares of Papa John's International, Inc. are down 1.39 as of this posting, at 49.40.
Papa John's shares closed almost 5% down at $48.33 on Wednesday.
Schnatter was eventually forced to step down as CEO, but he remained chairman of the board and the face of the brand.