He told WLKY that the agency tried to blackmail him to bury the story.
"They said, you know we've got this issue. In fact, they even said if you don't...they wanted $6 million to make it go away. I'm like, I'm not paying you $6 million. And they made it pretty clear that if... the words were 'If I don't get my (bleep) money, I'm going to bury the founder' said one of the executives. So, I'm not for sale. They can take the $6 million and whatever, they're not getting it. So, yeah they tried to extort us and we held firm," Schnatter said. "They took what I said and they ran to Forbes and Forbes printed it and it went viral."
Schnatter told WLKY that the marketing agency wanted Papa John's to add a well-known rapper to its advertising campaign to negate damage from the NFL kneeling controversy.
Last fall, Schnatter claimed in an earnings conference call that the kneeling controversy hurt profits.
RELATED: Papa John's founder resigns after admitting use of racial slur
"It wasn't a slur. It was a social strategy and media planning and training and I repeated something that somebody else said and said we're not going to say that. We don't use that kind of language or vocabulary and sure it got taken out of context and sure it got twisted, but that doesn't matter. I hurt people's feelings. That's what matters here. And for that, I'm sorry and I'm disappointed in myself that something like that could happen," he said.
Schnatter has resigned from his position at Papa John's and gave up his seat on University of Louisville's Board of Trustees, which he served on for the last two years.
The school announced Friday it was removing the Papa John's name from the football stadium.
From @UofLPresNeeli: "In moments of crisis, the best communities find a way to come together. Over the last 24 hours our community has been fractured by the comments made by former UofL trustee John Schnatter."— University of Louisville (@uofl) July 13, 2018