Louisville plays its home games at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, but players are pushing for a name change.
In the fallout of the resignation of John Schnatter, the founder and chairman of Papa John’s Pizza from the school’s Board of Trustees, wide receivers Jaylen Smith and Seth Dawkins expressed their desire to take the Papa John’s name down from Louisville’s stadium.
Dawkins followed up his tweet by saying that he expects a member of the Louisville administration to get in touch with him about the public concern, and stands by his desire for change.
Schnatter admitted Wednesday to using a racial slur during a May conference call, and offered his resignation.
“News reports attributing the use of inappropriate and hurtful language to me during a media training session regarding race are true,” Schnatter.
J. David Grisson, the chairman of the Louisville Board of Trustees, issued this statement following Schnatter’s resignation.
“After speaking with John, I’m confident that his comments, while inappropriate, do not reflect his personal beliefs or values,” said Grissom in a statement. “No member of the board of trustees condones racism or insensitive language regardless of the setting. The University of Louisville embraces and celebrates diversity and is a supporter of all its students and stakeholders regardless as to their identity. John has tendered his resignation from the University of Louisville board of trustees effective immediately. The board appreciates his two years of service and thanks him for his generous support for so many years.”
Card Chronicle reported Thursday that the naming rights to the stadium are not with Papa John’s the company, rather with Schnatter himself. Schnatter’s resignation and the fact that he owns the rights to the stadium is clearly a complicated issue.
Louisville opens its 2018 season in Orlando, Florida, at Camping World Stadium against defending national champion Alabama. Its first home game is Sept. 8 vs. Indiana State.