The whole reason Papa “John” Schnatter found himself in this PR catastrophe, one that has left him disowned and evicted from the Papa John’s headquarters, as well as practically scrubbed from the University of Louisville’s campus, is because he allegedly said “Colonel Sanders called blacks niggers” on a conference call specifically organized to help him distance himself from racists. Yesterday, the family of the late KFC founder came forward to defend their patriarch, and to dump further humiliation on the disgraced pizza spokesperson. There is no olive branch, here—only a bitten peperoncino flung into the Papa’s eye, vinegary juices and all.
The Louisville Courier-Journal spoke with Sanders’s descendants, who said the chicken man was not racist—even though he was once considered as a VP candidate for the very racist segregationist politician George Wallace—and that Papa John should keep the Colonel’s name out of his fucking mouth:
Trigg Adams, Sanders’ grandson, told the Courier Journal that saying Sanders used the N-word or any racially offensive words is “an absolute lie.”
“He’s a weasel,” Adams said about Schnatter. “Because he’s prejudiced, he’s trying to say somebody else was, too. (Sanders) had absolutely no prejudice against anybody.”
Cindy Wurster Sjorgen, a great-granddaughter of Colonel Sanders, said in a statement that Sanders “was known to throw around a few cuss words but never a racial slur. For Mr. Schnatter to use the colonel as a scapegoat for his own horrible, disgusting mouth and racist beliefs is inexcusable.”
Where did Papa John get this idea that Colonel Sanders was racist? Sure, the guy in the white suit with a Southern accent looked the part, but there’s no solid proof or well-known evidence that he was dropping the hard-R version. The only bit of information that comes close to explaining Papa’s costly anecdote appears in the book Colonel Sanders and the American Dream: Sanders used the word “Negro” before being told that word was offensive.
Getting dunked on by the family of a rival fast-food patriarch is a new low for Papa John. At the rate this story is developing, however, il caduto Papa will find a way to debase himself even further in a day or two.
H/t to Ben