Papa John said the word Nigger. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about the circumstances around him using the word. Some said that Papa John, John Schnatter, the founder and face of Papa John’s Pizza should’ve said, “N-Word” instead of actually saying, the what some would say offensive if not indecent, racial epithet. I think that if you say “N-Word”, you might as well go all in. You’re on the edge. Go ahead and take it there. But back to Papa J and his usage.

But what was the context?

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past 2 or 3 years, there’s been a bit of a controversy with the NFL, kneeling and the National Anthem. Oh yeah as of this past season, Papa John’s Pizza founder John Schnatter took a dip into the controversy and partly blamed the NFL for a slump in pizza sales. Papa John’s is the Official Pizza of the NFL.

But back to the word. The context.

On a conference call in May of this year, Schnatter used the word, Nigger. According to  an internal source he used the word when trying to downplay his statement about pizza sales and the NFL. Dear Papa John stated, “Colonel Sanders called blacks niggers”. He then spoke about how in his early life in Indiana, where, “…people used to drag African-Americans from trucks until they died.” So a comment about slumping pizza sales shouldn’t be that bad, right?

If you ask me, we have the right to use whatever words we want, when we want and how we want. Unfortunately, there are a whole bunch of folks out there that want to erase a part of history, a word. Especially when referring to something used at a point in time of our history that we are too afraid to discuss. It’s glaringly obvious.

That is what the NFL thing is about again, right? Oh well. Peace out Papa. I think you were born in a time a bit too soon. You were born in a time when referring to a point in history, just isn’t OK. See you 50 years from now, when we all grow up and think about having the real conversation about the pain of our past, our peculiar institution.

Darrin Marion