Washington, DC – President Donald Trump called for a boycott of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company after a Kansas plant employee shared the company’s “zero tolerance” training that banned employees from wearing “MAGA Attire.”
“Don’t buy GOODYEAR TIRES – They announced a BAN ON MAGA HATS. Get better tires for far less! (This is what the Radical Left Democrats do. Two can play the same game, and we have to start playing it now!),” President Trump tweeted on Wednesday morning.
A Goodyear employee in Topeka, Kansas shared a slide from what they said was the company’s new diversity training that provoked the President’s boycott.
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.
Don’t buy GOODYEAR TIRES – They announced a BAN ON MAGA HATS. Get better tires for far less! (This is what the Radical Left Democrats do. Two can play the same game, and we have to start playing it now!).
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2020
The employee who posted the slide said that it was shared during diversity training at Goodyear’s Topeka plant, but that it originated in the company’s headquarters in Akron, Ohio.
“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.
Goodyear sent a statement to The Police Tribune on Tuesday night that defended the training materials and did nothing to quell the rising outrage as images of the company’s “zero tolerance” policy went viral.
“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.”
On Wednesday, the tire company added “context” to that with an additional statement in response to the backlash on social media.
“First, the visual in question was not created or distributed by Goodyear corporate, nor was it part of a diversity training class,” Goodyear clarified.
Yesterday, Goodyear became the focus of a conversation that created some misconceptions about our policies and our company. Goodyear has always wholeheartedly supported both equality and law enforcement and will continue to do so. pic.twitter.com/oO6jUg2rTR
— Goodyear (@goodyear) August 19, 2020
However, they did not explain who created the materials, who distributed them, or why they were shown to employees at the Topeka plant.
The company’s statement then went on to claim that Goodyear does in fact support law enforcement despite the obvious messages to the contrary in the “zero tolerance” policy.
“Goodyear has always wholeheartedly supported both equality and law enforcement and will continue to do so,” the statement read. “These are not mutually exclusive.”
Black Lives Matter is actively pushing to defund police and has demonstrated an anti-police stance, not simple anti-police brutality.
“We have heard from some of you that [you] believe Goodyear is anti-police after reacting to the visual,” the company continued. “Nothing could be further from the truth, and we have the utmost appreciation for the work police do on behalf of our shared communities. This can’t be said strongly enough.”
But the company did not walk back its ban on “Blue Lives Matter” or any of the other expressions considered “unacceptable” in the materials that went viral.
A Goodyear plant employee advised The Police Tribune that two company managers had altered the training without corporate knowledge to allow pro-Black Lives Matter and pro-LGBTQ attire when all political messaging was supposed to be prohibited.
However, Goodyear’s statements only appear to agree with the message in the training, even if they are claiming no responsibility for its creation.
The Police Tribune reached out to Goodyear to find out where the slide came from if not the company’s headquarters, and to ask why it had been presented to employees as the company’s “zero tolerance” policy.
Goodyear responded by sending a link to the same statement that The Police Tribune had asked about.