Los Angeles Lakers player LeBron James and President Donald Trump have not seen eye to eye during the latter's term in the Oval Office. This trend continued recently after Trump called for a boycott of Goodyear Tires due to its reported ban of politically-affiliated gear in the workplace. James responded by showing his support for the Ohio-based company.
James made his stance clear when meeting with reporters. He talked about Goodyear's impact on his hometown of Akron and said that he knows what the company means to the town. Goodyear has hosted events for James and the LeBron James Family Foundation and it's "I Promise School" for at-risk youth. James also later tweeted about how Goodyear is part of his "family."
So PROUD to call them FAMILY!!! 💛💙🙏🏾👑 https://t.co/dtA0Yt5TI5— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 21, 2020
"We don't bend and we don't fold and we don't break for nobody," James said. "So I'm not worried about that. Not only has Goodyear been great for my city, for the history of my city, but for the country and what they represented, it's unbelievable, unbelievable brand, unbelievable history. So we stand strong and we always unite, especially my city."
The discourse surrounding Goodyear originally began when a local news station in Kansas published a slide from a presentation at a company facility in Topeka. The slide listed "Black Lives Matter" and "LGBT" under "acceptable" phrases at Goodyear. "Make America Great Again" and "Blue Lives Matter" were both listed under "unacceptable."
The photo surfaced after an anonymous employee reportedly snapped the photo of the slide. This employee alleged that Goodyear's policy was discriminatory. The president then told his followers to not buy tires from Goodyear and said that this was a tactic from the "Radical Left."
Goodyear has since responded in two different forms. The company posted a statement on Twitter and said that the photo was not from the company's diversity training program. CEO Rich Kramer also commented in a letter and said that the slide "was not approved or distributed by Goodyear Corporate."0comments
"I deeply regret the impression it has created and want to clarify Goodyear’s position,” Kramer said, per FOX News. "First, to be clear, Goodyear does not endorse any political organization, party or candidate. We have a longstanding corporate policy that asks associates to refrain from workplace expressions in support of any candidate or political party.
"Second, Goodyear strongly supports our law enforcement partners and deeply appreciates all they do to put their lives on the line each and every day for our communities. We have proudly supplied tires to police and fire personnel for more than 100 years and that relationship is foundational to our company."