John Schnatter at the Indy 500. Photo: Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Papa John's founder John Schnatter apologized for using the N-word during a conference call with a marketing agency in May, confirming an initial report from Forbes, reports CNBC.

"Colonel Sanders called blacks n*****s"
— Schnatter on the conference call

What he's saying: Schnatter said the comments were originally made during a media training session regarding race, but acknowledged that the comments were inappropriate "regardless of context" and that "racism has no place in our society."

The backdrop: Schnatter and Papa John's also came under fire for comments about race in 2017, when Schnatter blamed slow company earnings on NFL players protesting police brutality during the national anthem. Schnatter stepped down as CEO in December.

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