The face of\u00a0Papa John's pizza\u00a0has resigned after he was caught using the n-word.\r\nFounder and former CEO John Schnatter stepped down as chairman of the board following a backlash over his use of the racial slur during a conference call.\r\n\r\nThe resignation comes after Forbes reported that Schnatter used an offensive term with a marketing agency during a media training session on race.\r\nOn the call, Schnatter - who was forced to step down as CEO in January - was trying to downplay his earlier comments that the NFL's handling of national anthem protests had led to weak pizza sales.\r\nSchnatter, who founded the company in 1984, also came under fire in November after he criticised the NFL's leadership over the player protests.\r\nHe complained that "Colonel Sanders" had said much worse in the past without facing a public backlash.\r\nSchnatter also reportedly recalled growing up in Indiana, where he said people used to drag African Americans from their trucks until they died.\r\nForbes saying the comments were intended to demonstrate his position against racism, but people on the call were offended.\r\nOn Wednesday, the company went into damage control, issuing a statement saying: "Papa John's condemns racism and any insensitive language, no matter the situation or setting."\r\nSchnatter confirmed the allegations in a statement to Forbes and said: "Regardless of the context, I apologise."\r\nIn a subsequent interview, Schnatter said it was NOT a slur, because it was during a training session.\r\nHe sadi: "It wasn't a slur. It was a social strategy and media planning and training and I repeated something that somebody else said and said, 'we're not going to say that, We don't use that kind of language or vocabulary.'\r\n"And sure it got taken out of context, and sure it got twisted, but that doesn't matter.\r\n"I hurt people's feelings. That's what matters here. And for that, I'm sorry and I'm disappointed in myself that something like that could happen."\r\nPapa John's International Inc said it will remove Schnatter from its promotions and baseball team New York Yankees suspended business relationships with the company.\r\nBaseball team Seattle Mariners in a tweet said on Thursday it would cut ties with the pizza chain.\r\nThe University of Louisville also announced the school will remove "Papa John's" from its stadium.\r\nThe home of the Louisville football team now will be called Cardinal Stadium.\r\nPapa John's said Olivia Kirtley will act as lead independent director, and added it would appoint a new chairman in the coming weeks.