On OAN, Papa John's former CEO says he's been working for almost 2 years “to get rid of this n-word in my vocabulary and dictionary”

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Citation From the March 5, 2021, edition of One America News' The Tipping Point

KARA MCKINNEY (HOST): It's so hard and crazy to get my mind around all of this. So, when did you know that you were being set up? When did the lightbulb go off in your head that this was all a setup?

JOHN SCHNATTER (PAPA JOHN'S FORMER CEO): Well, it's so bad, so horrific. In my mind, I'm not sure I ever really wanted to see it because I really always acted in the best interests of the board of directors, the franchisees, the employees, and the thought of them -- this is a public health company, with a public board. And I'm the spokesperson, the founder. They spent hundreds of millions of dollars promoting me, I'm synonymous with the brand, and then they set me up as a racist. I mean, it's so bizarre. It's evil to do this to another human being. I don't think I ever wanted to see it. But I knew I wasn't. I've never been anything -- in my nature to be a racist. And the tape, there's nothing in there that's racist. So, I knew the truth and the evidence and the facts were on my side. It was just a beautiful day when [former FBI] Director Freeh's report came out, and then of course as you alluded to we now have the tape. We have the smoking gun. 

MCKINNEY: And why do you think you were targeted in the first place? Was this -- was this power dynamics behind the scenes, was money involved behind the scenes, was this politics? Why do you think that you were targeted in such a heinous way, or evil as you say, because truly it is to smear someone and to drag their name through the mud, it is evil, so why do you think you were targeted in this way?

SCHNATTER: I think Casey Wasserman was jealous. He's with the DNC out in California. I have somewhat of a conservative values. So I think he was jealous. I mean, he inherited all his money. I'm a self-made man, so you have that. Jason Stein was angry because he lost the business. Roger Goodell was angry at me because I was hammering to fix this thing with the kneeling and the players to their satisfaction. And then you've got a couple of Papa John's board of directors, Mark Shapiro and Steve Ritchie, who benefitted in the tens of millions of dollars from them doing this. So all the stars were aligned perfectly with one motive, and that is to get rid of me. Now, whether that was a conspiracy, whether it was organized or not, we still don't know that. We're looking for that. But definitely they all were organized and they did act in my worst interest, and by proxy in the company's and the franchisees' worst interest. 

MCKINNEY: Now take me back to a few years ago when you start to see these headlines coming out and smearing your good name. How did you feel at the time when you were seeing these headlines? 

SCHNATTER: State of shock. Unbelievable. I couldn't understand it. I mean -- again, we have a public board that paints its chairman, complicit, passive, or active, they paint the founder as a racist. They know he's not a racist. It's just unbelievable. And I used to lay in bed just going “how did they do this?" And we've had three goals for the last 20 months. To get rid of this n-word in my vocabulary and dictionary, and everything else, because it's just not true. Figure out how they did this, and get on with my life. And if Papa John's would just say “Hey, we got in a hurry. We didn't follow proper due diligence and process with Delaware law. John has no history of race or racism. There wasn't anything on that tape that was race. We're sorry we made a mistake." I'd forgive them in my heart. But, you know, they keep on. And that's, Kara, what makes it so hard. Until Papa John's steps up the plate and owns what they did, this is never going to go away because I'm not going to go away.