President Donald Trump has called for a boycott of Goodyear tires. A PowerPoint slide from the company's diversity training caused controversy for labeling Black Lives Matter as "acceptable" and the merchandise of President Donald Trump "unacceptable."
A photo of the slide, taken by an employee, has been shared widely on social media. It shows examples of what's acceptable and what isn’t acceptable under Goodyear's zero-tolerance policy.
The slide states that the following are acceptable: "Black Lives Matter (BLM), Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride."
While these are unacceptable examples: "Blue Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, MAGA Attire, Political Affiliated Slogans or Material."
The slide was reportedly shown as part of diversity training at the company's plant in Topeka, Kansas.
"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 media outlets. "If we're talking about equality, then it needs to be equality. If not, it's discrimination."
Following outrage on social media, the company issues a statement saying, “Goodyear is committed to fostering an inclusive and respectful workplace where all of our associates can do their best in a spirit of teamwork. 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.”
Goodyear did not confirm whether the slide was part of their training.
And now, the post seems to have sparked outrage in the Oval Office. In a tweet on Wednesday morning, President Trump called for a boycott of the company on Twitter, writing, "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!)."
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
Following President Trump's statement, Goodyear offered the following statement:
“Yesterday, Goodyear became the focus of a conversation that created some misconceptions about our policies and our company. For those not aware, a widely circulated image sparked a strong reaction, and we wanted to take the opportunity to provide some important context to the visual and our policies."
"First, the visual in question was not created or distributed by Goodyear corporate, nor was it part of a diversity training class. 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."
"Second, we appreciate the diverse viewpoints of all of our more than 60,000 associates, which are at the heart of many of the policies we establish. Fostering an inclusive, respectful workplace is important to establish teamwork and build culture, which is another reason we ask associates not to engage in political campaigning of any kind in the workplace – for any candidate, party or political organization."
"Third and finally, Goodyear has always wholeheartedly supported both equality and law enforcement and will continue to do so. These are not mutually exclusive. We have heard from some of you that believe Goodyear is anti-police after reacting to the visual. Nothing could be further from the truth, and we have the upmost appreciation for the vital work police do on behalf of our shared communities. This can’t be said strongly enough.”
Others also called for a boycott, with one user writing, "Why are you doing this? It doesn’t make any sense. I’ll be 100% sure not to ever buy your tires again! Conservatives are sick and tired of the leftist agenda. It won’t end well for you."