On Wednesday, President Donald Trump took a strong stance against Goodyear. The president took to Twitter to urge his followers to boycott the company over their "Make America Great Again" attire policy. His message came after reports emerged that Goodyear employees in Kansas were told not to wear "MAGA" attire or any other politically-affiliated gear, as The Hill noted.
Trump told his followers not to buy tires from Goodyear, sharing that the company put a "ban on MAGA hats" (Goodyear's reported ban was not exclusive to MAGA-related gear, as they are said to have told employees not to wear anything that could be politically-affiliated). He went on to say that this was a tactic from the "Radical Left" and that his supporters must "start playing [the game] now." On Tuesday, a local news affiliate in Topeka, Kansas reported that a slide shown at Goodyear's diversity training showed that attire associated with Black Lives Matter and LGBT pride was "acceptable," while gear associated with Blue Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, MAGA, and any politically-affiliated slogans or material was "unacceptable." An anonymous employee reportedly snapped a photo of the slide and alleged that Goodyear's policy was discriminatory.
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
In response to this controversy, Goodyear released a statement in which they stressed that the image created "misconceptions" about the company. They also shared that the image "was not created or distributed by Goodyear corporate, nor was it part of a diversity training class." Goodyear's statement, which was released on social media, also noted that the company supports law enforcement and equality and will "continue to do so." Their Twitter message also came alongside a lengthy letter to Goodyear's customers, partners, and associates that clarified their stance on this matter.
"To be clear on our longstanding corporate policy, Goodyear has zero tolerance for any forms of harassment or discrimination," their statement read, in part. "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 equality issues." They ended their message by, once again, stressing their support for equality and law enforcement, something that "can't be strongly said enough."