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Papa John’s John Schnatter should have admitted racial bias and learned to do better

As president of an organization that has trained thousands of people in diversity and cultural competence, I am all too familiar with the racism displayed by John Schnatter, founder and chairman of Papa John’s Pizza, who resigned after using a racial slur on a company call. Like many public figures who find themselves in similar situations, he initially apologized and tried to present himself as a person free of prejudice.

Schnatter could have taken a lesson from Starbucks, which responded to a racist incident by admitting there was a problem and holding a company-wide anti-bias training. Such training, when done right, can weaken conscious and unconscious prejudices — and help people to have more empathy and respect for each other.


Papa John’s Owner Gets Caught Using the N Word  was originally published on

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