Papa John’s is shrouded in controversy following a Forbes report that described racist comments from the company’s (now former) chairman of the board John Schnatter. On Thursday afternoon, the Marlins distanced themselves from the pizza chain.
Here’s their brief but definitive statement:
“The Marlins are committed to an inclusive environment for all of our fans. Mr. Schnatter’s derogatory and insensitive comments are not at all reflective of the values of our organization. As such, the Marlins are immediately suspending our relationship and promotions with the Papa John’s brand.”
In addition to a broad partnership with Major League Baseball, Papa John’s also had individual sponsorship with 21 different MLB franchises. The Marlins became the first of those 21 to address the scandal publicly.
This was a swift response from the team’s leadership. Although Schnatter made the insensitive comments during a conference call in May, he only confirmed the incident to Forbes on Wednesday.
Over the past several seasons, fans could receive a 50 percent discount on their Papa John’s orders whenever the Marlins scored at least five runs in a game (using the MARLINS5 promo code). Through 95 games in 2018, they qualified for that offer 32 times.
Surely, other brands will express interest in filling the void.