Seahawks no longer partnering with Papa John's

SEATTLE — The Seahawks told KIRO 7 they are no longer partnering with Papa John's Pizza.

The Mariners already suspended their relationship with the company. This comes the same week the company's former chairman admitted to using a racial slur during a company conference call.

"Better ingredients. Better Pizza. Papa John's." That was the message John Schnatter delivered to millions of Americans for years.

But now Schnatter, who is the founder and face of Papa John's, is being removed from all marketing materials after using the n-word during a conference call in May.

"Oh, I'm disgusted. It's disgusting. It's not OK,” Nicole Hudson, a Seattle resident, said.

The Mariners joined the list of Major League Baseball teams suspending their promotions for discounted pizzas at Papa John's.

They did so indefinitely.

There are four Papa John's locations at CenturyLink Field.

Jordan, a Seahawks fan, posted a message on Twitter hours before the team announced it is no longer with Papa John’s.

"I wonder if this Papa John's thing means they are taking it out of stadiums now. I love Papa John's at the Seahawks game."

Terrance Brooks, who moved to Seattle from Mississippi, said Papa John’s lost his business for good.

"There's other places for me to spend my money that aren't thinking of people in that direct way,” said Brooks. “For him to apologize about it and things like that, that means nothing [to me as an African-American]."

Sports teams nationwide reacted to the news on Friday.

University of Louisville President Neeli Bendapudi announced that the school will remove the Papa John's name from its football stadium – renaming it Cardinal Stadium – effective immediately.

"By taking this action, we renew our community's commitment to speaking up when it matters, doing what is right, and coming together as one team -- one Cardinal family -- to heal and move forward,” said Bendapudi.

The stadium was largely funded by a donation from Schnatter, who was later a trustee of the university.

The Seahawks told KIRO 7 the decision to cut ties with Papa John's was something they were considering even before the news about its founder broke.

But the result is obviously the same.

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