Papa John's is reportedly purging its stores of all signs of its founder

  • Papa John's is in the process of removing all images of founder and former CEO John Schnatter from its more than 5,000 stores. 
  • Store owners have been instructed to remove images including Schnatter's signature from oven paddles, a picture with NFL star Peyton Manning, and his face on the side of delivery vans, the New York Post reported. 
  • Schnatter is currently suing the pizza chain that he founded.

The board of Papa John's has reportedly ordered the removal of all symbols of founder John Schnatter from its 5,215 outlets.

Schnatter resigned as chairman of the company's board on July 11, after Forbes reported he had used the N-word in a conference call in May. He was later booted out of the company's offices and removed from its corporate marketing campaign and logo.

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John Schnatter, founder and chief executive of Papa John's Pizza, arrives at the 2011 American Music Awards in Los Angeles November 20, 2011. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS FOOD) (AMA-ARRIVALS)
John Schnatter (R), founder and chief executive of Papa John's Pizza, arrives at the 2011 American Music Awards in Los Angeles November 20, 2011. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS FOOD) (AMA-ARRIVALS)
MIAMI, FL - JULY 11: A Papa John's restaurant is seen on July 11, 2018 in Miami, Florida. The founder of Papa John's pizza, John Schnatter, apologized Wednesday for using the N-word on a conference call in May. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 12, 2014: 'Papa' John Schnatter, founder and CEO of 'Papa John's Pizza' takes part in a radio show prior to a game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns on October 12, 2014 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland won 31-10. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 24: Papa John's founder and CEO John Schnatter attends the Indy 500 on May 23, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 04: John Schnatter and Halston Sage attend a basketball game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on April 4, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/GC Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 12, 2014: 'Papa' John Schnatter, founder and CEO of 'Papa John's Pizza' takes part in a radio show prior to a game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns on October 12, 2014 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland won 31-10. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 07: John Schnatter, Founder and Chairman of the Board for Papa John's Pizza, gives a thumbs up before a charity exhibition race against Antron Brown (not pictured) during the the 19th Annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals Saturday, April 7, 2018, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by: Marc Sanchez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 31: John H. Schnatter, Founder, Chairman & CEO of Papa John's International, Inc. rings the NASDAQ Opening Bell at NASDAQ MarketSite on January 31, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 01: Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones (L) and Papa John's Pizza founder John Schnatter attend the DirecTV Super Saturday Night at Pier 40 on February 1, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Charles Norfleet/FilmMagic)
Spider Man and Papa John Founder John Schnatter at the Spider-Man and Papa John's Honor 'Hometown Super-Heroes' October 29, 2007 in Times Square in New York City. (Photo by Mark Von Holden/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 20: Founder of Papa John's Pizza John Schnatter attends the Official After Party for the 2011 American Music Awards held at the Conga Room at L.A. LIVE on November 20, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by John Shearer/AMA2011/Getty Images for AMA)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 20: 'Papa John's' Pizza Founder John Schnatter arrives at the 2011 American Music Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on November 20, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/AMA2011/Getty Images for AMA)
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 29: Founder of Papa John's John Schnatter speaks onstage at the Spider-Man and Papa John's Pizza's announcement of 'Hometown Super-Heroes' in Times Square October 29, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 06: Paps John's CEO John Schnatter attends the 132nd Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 6, 2006 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images)
John Schnatter, founder & Pres. of a chain of Papa John's pizza restaurants, w. employees at one of his 1,049 outlets, making a surprise quality check on a row of pizzas layed out on counter at restaurant. (Photo by Taro Yamasaki/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
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According to a seven-page email leaked to the New York Post, the board is demanding that franchisees remove Schnatter's signature from oven paddles, photos of Schnatter and Peyton Manning, and Schnatter's face from the side of delivery vans. Schnatter's signature will reportedly be replaced with images of vegetables and cheese on boards, according to the Post. 

Manning sold his stake in 31 Papa John's franchises earlier this year, after Schnatter blamed NFL players' national-anthem protests for a drop in sales. 

The cut-outs of Manning are not being replaced. Images of Schnatter explaining how the pizzas are made will also be thrown out. 

Schnatter has since said he regrets stepping down as chairman of the Papa John's board and that he felt he was pushed into using the word by Laundry Service, the marketing firm that was on the conference call.

Schnatter is now suing the pizza chain he founded. He is demanding to see internal documents related to the fallout because of the "unexplained and heavy-handed way in which the company has treated him since the publication of a story that falsely accused him of using a racial slur," a spokesperson for his attorney, Patricia Glaser, wrote in an email to Business Insider.

Forbes published a follow-up report in which current and former Papa John's employees accused Schnatter of inappropriate sexual behavior. According to employees, Schnatter and other executives helped create a toxic culture at the company. Schnatter denied many of the allegations.

"A special committee of the Board of Directors, comprised solely of independent directors, has retained an outside firm to oversee an audit and investigation of the culture at the company and to make recommendations for whatever changes may be necessary," Papa John's said in a statement to Business Insider following Forbes' report.

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