By Prince Hakeem
After the departure of former Papa John’s founder and CEO John Schnatter, the pizza comapny has been looking to get back in the good graces of the black demographic. If you don’t remember, Schnatter was ousted from his own after a controversy involving him saying the N-word in a conference call leaked to the public. Soon after, it was announced that NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal was partnering with Papa John’s as their new face and as apart of the board of trustees.
One of the first moves Shaq and the newly rebranded Papa John’s is looking to make involves putting a restaurant on every HBCU campus in the country.
To begin this endeavor Shap’s teamed up with a HBCU in Fairfield, Alabama named Miles College. Shaq and the food company is set to make this announcement on October 26th, alongside the school president, Bobbie Knight.
“HBCUs have been pivotal in the development of young minds; influential in highlighting the history and culture of African Americans and effectively provided a means for academic success,” said the NBA Hall of Famer, business leader, educator, and philanthropist in a statement. “It is in these great halls of these wonderful institutions that students saw their potential magnified and exemplified.“
“Martin Luther King, Jr. said, ‘If you want to move people, it has to be toward a vision that’s positive for them, that taps important values, that gets them something they desire and it has to be presented in a compelling way so that they feel inspired to follow.’ Today, I ask you to catch the same vision that the noble founders of HBCUs held in carving out a venue to education, independence, and success. Join me and President Bobbie Knight of the great Miles College, as we move toward a business initiative that will open avenues of opportunities for our HBCUs.”
Given the fact that Shaq has actually gotten his degrees in business administration, along with an extensive entrepreneur portfolio he’s grown since his athlete days, I’m this move will work out fine.