IIRC he was talking about his upbringing and about how racist a neighborhood he grew up in (and that it was terrible how blatantly racist they were in that time and place). In context, he was saying “They would call you the n-word openly” but he actually said the word.
From what I’m seeing apparently he for some fucking reason decided to claim Colonel Sanders used that word with no public backlash (like the reason is because Papa John himself was getting backlash for comments on NFL protests but even then he really didn’t have to bring up or quote exactly the Colonol). And the thing about a racist neighborhood was to bring up tying black people to trucks and basically keelhauling them…ostensibly in an attempt to go “See I’m from an area that did this and think it’s so I’m not racist.” But the people he was talking to rather reasonably went “Why the fuck would you talk about that???”
Okay, that’s fair.
Yeah that was the context of the statements and it’s like… Maybe you’re not a big racist yourself but holy fuck dude, in this day and age do you not see how you can’t say shit like that on a phone call? There were about a million better ways to communicate “I’m not racist“ or just vaguely say “I remember how bad racism was growing up“. At no point did you need to actually use the N-word or go into graphic descriptions of racist violence.