Minnesota Lynx Evaluating Corporate Partnership with Papa John’s
A number of teams and organizations have cut ties with Papa John’s Pizza and its founder John Schnatter. The Minnesota Lynx may soon join that list.
At the very least, the team is putting its partnership with Papa John’s on hold.
“The Minnesota Lynx have suspended all current promotions with Papa John’s and will continue to evaluate the direction of their company in light of recent events,” the team announced Friday in a statement.
The Lynx’s announcement comes following Schnatter’s resignation from his position as chairman of the company. He admitted to using the N-word during a meeting with a public relations firm. He stepped down as CEO in January in the wake of critical comments he made toward NFL players protesting during the national anthem.
Papa John’s is an official corporate partner of the Lynx, leading some to call for the team to formally part ways with the company. Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve addressed the idea Wednesday on Twitter:
On Thursday, the Lynx promoted a sale offer for Papa John’s following their 87-65 win Wednesday over the Indiana Fever:
Should they sever their relationship with Papa John’s, the Lynx would add to a growing group condemning Schnatter for his use of the racial epithet.
ESPN’s Darren Rovell reported the University of Louisville, to whom Schnatter was a major donor, will remove Papa John’s from the name of its football stadium. Louisville is also removing Schnatter’s name from its business school.
The company continues to distance itself from Schnatter as well. The Associated Press reported he will no longer be part of Papa John’s marketing campaigns.