UK Men's Basketball

What was ‘Papa’ John Schnatter doing wearing blue behind UK bench?

Papa John’s founder John Schnatter watches the second half of an NCAA college basketball game between Kentucky and LSU in Lexington, Ky., Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. LSU won 73-71. (AP Photo/James Crisp)
Papa John’s founder John Schnatter watches the second half of an NCAA college basketball game between Kentucky and LSU in Lexington, Ky., Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. LSU won 73-71. (AP Photo/James Crisp) AP

Following his public fallout with the University of Louisville, it would appear ‘Papa’ John Schnatter has pledged his allegiance to Big Blue Nation.

Schnatter, the founder of Papa John’s and formerly an avid Louisville supporter, was spotted wearing a blue University of Kentucky shirt and sitting behind the UK bench during its game Tuesday against LSU.

Last year, Schnatter had his name removed from Louisville’s football stadium after a scandal involving him using the “N-word” on a company conference call.

Schnatter is also a former University of Louisville trustee but resigned in July during the aftermath of the conference call.

UK also stripped all of its references to Schnatter following the racist remark. The university announced in July that Schnatter’s name would be removed from buildings and it would no longer take his donations.

Previously often seen in red through Papa John’s commercials and at Louisville games, Schnatter wearing a blue UK shirt was quickly noticed by social media users. Some even blamed Schnnater for UK’s buzzer-beater defeat.

Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari talks about the final play in UK’s 73-71 loss to LSU on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, at Rupp Arena. The Tigers’ Kavell Bigby-Williams appeared to offensive goaltend when he tipped in the miss that gave LSU the win.

Mike Stunson covers breaking news and real-time news for the Lexington Herald-Leader and Kentucky.com. He is a 2011 Western Kentucky University graduate who has previously worked at the Paducah Sun and Madisonville Messenger as a sports reporter.


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