Akron, OH – Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company is standing by their anti-Blue Lives Matter diversity training materials that announced zero tolerance for employees who support the phrase “Blue Lives Matter.”
A Goodyear employee in Topeka, Kansas shared a slide from the company’s new diversity training that showed the company labeled the terms “Blue Lives Matter” and “All Lives Matter” unacceptable, while endorsing “Black Lives Matter.”
The slide that was shared to social media by an employee showed lists of what is, and what is not, considered acceptable messaging under the Goodyear “Zero Tolerance” policy, WIBW reported.
The list of “Acceptable” included “Black Lives Matter” and “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride (LGBT).”
The list of “Unacceptable” included “Blue Lives Matter,” “All Lives Matter,” “MAGA Attire,” and “Political Affiliated Slogans or Materials,” WIBW reported.
The employee who posted the slide said the diversity training materials originated in the company’s headquarters in Akron, Ohio.
The Police Tribune reached out to Goodyear for comment and the tire company responded on Tuesday evening by defending their training materials.
“Goodyear is committed to fostering an inclusive and respectful workplace where all of our associates can do their best in a spirit of teamwork,” Goodyear spokeswoman Melissa Monaco wrote in an email.
“As part of this commitment, we do allow our associates to express their support on racial injustice and other equity issues but ask that they refrain from workplace expressions, verbal or otherwise, in support of political campaigning for any candidate or political party as well as other similar forms of advocacy that fall outside the scope of equity issues,” Monaco wrote.
Goodyear’s stance doesn’t address that Black Lives Matter is a political organization and pushes for changes which are often unrelated to equity issues, including defunding law enforcement.
“As a supplier of tires to police, fire, and other law enforcement departments across the U.S., Goodyear remains steadfastly in support of federal, state and local law enforcement,” the Goodyear statement continued. “We value our partnerships with law enforcement around the country, appreciate the work they do on behalf of our shared communities, and look forward to continuing those relationships for years to come.”
Police officers and supporters said they felt the statement from one of the nation’s largest tire companies was tone-deaf given the recent anti-police sentiment rolling across the country.
An active-duty police officer from New York asked. “Doesn’t my life matter?”
A lifelong Goodyear tire customer in Florida told The Police Tribune she will “never buy another Goodyear-brand anything.”
“I don’t want to hear any anti-police sentiment or politics from a company that is making a ton of money off the tires police are wearing out trying to protect my community,” she said. “My tax dollars help pay for those tires and I don’t think Goodyear should benefit any more from that, given their blatant lack of support for law enforcement.”
The employee who shared the diversity training materials felt the diversity training was very one-sided, too.
“If someone wants to wear a BLM shirt in here, then cool. I’m not going to get offended about it,” the employee told WIBW. “But at the same time, if someone’s not going to be able to wear something that is politically-based, even in the farthest stretch of the imagination, that’s discriminatory.”
The employee asked to remain anonymous out of fear they would be terminated for releasing the controversial corporate materials to the public.
“If we’re talking about equality, then it needs to be equality. If not, it’s discrimination,” the employee added, explaining his objection to the training materials.