Sanford community reacts to butt-dialed racial rant by Papa John's worker

Papa John's says worker fired over comments left on customer voicemail

By Erik Sandoval - Reporter

SANFORD, Fla. - The Sanford community is speaking out on Tuesday after a delivery man for a Papa John's pizza store was fired because of accidentally leaving a racially-loaded voicemail complaining about his tip on a customer's phone.

The call was made a few hours after the pizza was delivered on Sunday, May 19, from the store on West Lake Mary Blvd. The delivery man is heard talking to a group of friends or co-workers.

"Did he tip you?" one of the men in the room asks.

"No, not at all," the driver responded. "I guess that's one of the requirements of being a n***** in Sanford. They gave me five bucks. They're fine, outstanding gentlemen of the African American community."

The call, which was posted on YouTube (Warning: Graphic), appears to have been accidentally dialed, contained at least two racially-fueled songs sung by the men.

A local civil rights leader says he's not surprised at Papa John's going into damage control mode. The pizza chain fired the employee and issued a statement apologizing for the incident.

"In the past, they kept everything covert, but now everything is out in the open," said Seminole County NAACP President Turner Clayton, Jr., who applauded the way the restaurant apologized. "Those kind of things happen all the time and this particular incident was caught on tape, so there was no trying to get out of this one."

Clayton used his radio talkshow on WSDO-AM to talk about the incident, and his callers expressed their anger about why racism still exists.

"How long is the world going to have to apologize to the world for the racism in Sanford?" one caller asked.

The driver's name has not been released.

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