Chick-fil-a CEO Dan Cathy Symbolically Shined Shoes Of Fellow Panelist To Help Combat Racism

Chick-fil-A restaurant Team Members pose with chairman and CEO Dan T. Cathy after being surprised with $25,000 scholarships at Chick-fil-A’s corporate headquarters during Chick-fil-A Team Member Scholarship Awards.
Marcus Ingram / Getty Images

Chick-fil-a Chief Executive Officer Dan Cathy addressed racism head-on while speaking with several religious leaders just days ago, saying that Christians can help heal the racism in the United States by looking to see who they can serve.

“I invite folks just to put some words to action here and if we need to find somebody that needs to have their shoes shined, we need to just go right on over and shine their shoes.”

The fast-food mogul and outspoken Christian knelt with a shoe brush in front of hip-hop artist Lecrae with a shoe brush and symbolically wiped at the singer’s shoes. Both men were part of a conversation at Passion City Church with Pastor Louie Giglio, addressing nationwide protests.

While he was kneeling, Cathy spoke about how Christians can try to remedy the hurt their fellow Americans are feeling in the wake of the death of George Floyd and years of inequality in America’s history.

“Whether they got tennis shoes on or not — maybe they got sandals on — it really doesn’t matter,” Cathy said.

“But, there’s a time in which we need to have some personal action here. Maybe we need to give them a hug, too.”

Cathy hugged the singer, offering a gesture of friendship to the African-American artist.

The CEO went on to say that he has bought brushes, like the one he used, for Chick-fil-a operators across the nation, years ago, in hopes of fostering a culture of servant leadership among his restaurants.

“So, any expressions of a contrite heart, of a sense of humility, a sense of shame, a sense of embarrassment begat with an apologetic heart — I think that’s what our world needs to hear today.”

Cathy released a statement on his company website on June 3, promising that he and his company would “use our influence” to help effect whatever change he could to help facilitate positive change in communities across the nation.

The Chick-fil-a executive isn’t the only high profile billionaire looking to make changes. Dallas Mavericks owner and Shark Tank star Mark Cuban has voiced his desire to kneel along with his players when the national anthem is played at their games.

Currently, the National Basketball Association has a rule that its coaches and players must stand for the anthem. However, the issue of anthem protests has come to the forefront of sports once again, as Americans re-think the way protests are viewed.