The University of Louisville has renamed its football stadium Cardinal Stadium and removed the Papa John’s prefix after a racism controversy surrounding the pizza chain’s founder.
John Schnatter, who was also a UofL trustee, made a racist comment during a marketing meeting with Papa John’s executives.
He resigned as Papa John’s chairman and from the board of trustees at the university.
In the wake of the scandal, the university decided to rename the football stadium, as
President Neeli Bendapudi explained. She said:
In moments of crisis, the best communities find a way to come together. Over the last 24 hours our community has been fractured by the comments made by former UofL trustee John Schnatter.
These comments were hurtful and unacceptable, and they do not reflect the values of our university. I have decided, with the support of our Board of Trustees, to rename our football stadium ‘Cardinal Stadium’ and to remove John Schnatter’s name from the Center for Free Enterprise at our College of Business effective immediately.
I have stated since my first day on this job that my commitment to the University of Louisville is to make it a great place to learn, a great place to work, and a great place in which to invest. We can only accomplish this if we truly celebrate diversity, foster equity, and aim to achieve inclusion.
I appreciate your support as we have reviewed this difficult situation. 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 – our Cardinal family – to heal and move forward. The brightest days for this university are still ahead. Go Cards!
The naming rights deal between Papa John’s and the university had been due to run until 2040.