MLB suspends Papa Slam promotion with Papa John’s after founder’s racial slur

Major League Baseball has indefinitely suspended its Papa Slam promotion with Papa John’s pizza, Yahoo Sports has confirmed.


The pizza chain is under scrutiny after founder John Schnatter admitted to and apologized for using the N-word in a May training session, an event that became public Wednesday. In the aftermath, Schnatter announced his resignation as the company’s chairman late Wednesday night. He previously resigned his seat on the board of trustees at the University of Louisville.

Now Major League Baseball is distancing itself from Papa John’s. Their relationship began in 2016, when baseball started dubbing grand slams “Papa Slams.” Each one allowed baseball fans to get 40 percent off their order at Papa John’s the next day by using a Papa Slam online coupon code.

MLB’s web page for Papa Slams says that 20 have been hit in 2018, the last one being Dexter Fowler’s on Tuesday. However, Greg Bird of the New York Yankees hit a grand slam in the third inning of Wednesday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles and it was not celebrated as a Papa Slam by MLB.

Many MLB teams have their own promotions with Papa John’s outside of the league-wide Papa Slam promotion. For instance, Chicago White Sox fans get 50 percent off after a White Sox win with a special Papa John’s coupon code. Those types of deals are unaffected by MLB’s decision to suspend Papa Slams. Each team that has a deal with Papa John’s — whatever the discount may be — can decide whether to continue or suspend those deals.