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Ex-FBI director clears Papa John's founder of racial bias, slams 'clearly inaccurate' media
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Former FBI Director Louis Freeh has released findings Tuesday of his extensive investigation into public comments made by disgraced Papa John's founder John Schnatter which led to his ousting in 2018.
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According to the report, Freeh found Schnatter's comments were "neither intended nor can reasonably be interpreted to reflect any racial bias, prejudice, or disrespect for African Americans or people of color."
Freeh adds that his firm's background investigation of Schnatter, which looked into the personal experiences and reputation he currently has with prominent African Americans and other people of color, "completely validates and corroborates the separate finding that Mr. Schnatter had no prejudicial intent or racial animus when he made the public comments at issue."
Freeh noted that interviewees Reverend Dr. Sam Tolbert, president of the National Baptist Convention of America; Reverend Dr. Kevin Cosby, president of Simmons College, a private historically black college in Louisville, Ky., noted civil rights leader Reverend Dr. Charles Elliott, Jr., and Simon Smith, former vice president for North American Franchise Operations at Papa John's International, all affirmed that Schnatter "never expressed any racial bias, prejudice, or discrimination," and "always appreciated people regardless of their race or ethnicity."