WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump called for his supporters to boycott Goodyear after an employee shared an image that outlined the company’s zero-tolerance policy, one which appeared to prohibit MAGA and Blue Lives Matter attire, while allowing employees to wear clothing that supported other social and political causes.
Goodyear has since denied that the visual was created or distributed by the company’s corporate offices or part of a diversity training class.
A file image taken Feb. 12, 2018 shows a Goodyear Tire & Service location in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
The employee said they took the photo during a diversity training session at a Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company facility in Kansas, according to WIBW-TV. The image shows a slide that was presented as part of the company’s zero-tolerance policy.
Under “Acceptable,” Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride (LGBT) were listed. Under “Unacceptable” were Blue Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, MAGA attire and politically affiliated slogans or material.
Trump responded to the photo on Wednesday and called for his supporters to shop elsewhere.
“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!),” the president wrote on Twitter.
The employee who took the photo of the slide told WIBW-TV that it was presented at a Topeka plant by an area manager, who claimed to have received the presentation from Goodyear’s corporate office in Akron, Ohio.
"If someone wants to wear a BLM shirt in here, then cool. I'm not going to get offended about it. 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 told the local news station, under the agreement of anonymity due to fear that they could lose their job.
"If we're talking about equality, then it needs to be equality. If not, it's discrimination," they added.
In an Aug. 19 statement, Goodyear denied the anonymous employee’s claim that the slide was created by its corporate office.
“The visual in question was not created or distributed by Goodyear corporate, nor was it part of a diversity training class,” a statement reads in part. “To be clear on our longstanding corporate policy, Goodyear has zero tolerance for any forms of harassment or discrimination. To enable a work environment free of those, we ask that associates refrain from workplace expressions in support of political campaigning for any candidate or political party, as well as similar forms of advocacy that fall outside the scope of racial justice and equity issues.”
Goodyear said the widely-circulated image sparked a strong reaction, leading the company to become “the focus of a conversation that created some misconceptions” about its policies.
The company said it has “always wholeheartedly supported both equality and law enforcement and will continue to do so. These are not mutually exclusive.”
This story was reported from Cincinnati.