Sen. McConnell supports changing Papa John’s stadium name

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky head shot LOW-RES

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell says he would remove Papa John’s name from the University of Louisville’s football stadium if he “had the ability to do that.”

The Senate majority leader addressed reports that the Louisville-based pizza chain’s founder, John Schnatter, used a racial slur during a conference call in May.

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McConnell, an avid Louisville football fan, said “there’s no place for racism in this country.”

McConnell says he isn’t aware of the contractual agreements on the stadium naming but expressed confidence that new university president Neeli Bendapudi would handle it “very well.”

But “if I could take it off? Absolutely,” he said during a press availability in Louisville Friday morning.

Schnatter has also stepped down as the company’s board chairman after apologizing for the comment earlier this week.