Trump’s tweet followed a report from WIBW television station in Topeka, Kansas, based on an anonymous Goodyear employee’s screenshot that listed Black Lives Matter and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride messages as acceptable while politically affiliated slogans and material, including “MAGA Attire” and “Blue Lives Matter,” were listed as unacceptable.
The screenshot was described in the report as part of the company’s diversity training.
But Goodyear said the screenshot was not created or distributed by the company’s corporate offices or part of a diversity training class. It also stressed that it does ask its workers to “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 responded to Trump with a tweet of its own, saying that the company was 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”.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Trump was concerned that the company allowed attire supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and other issues related to equality, but not the Blue Lives Matter group backing police officers, or MAGA.
“As far as I’m concerned, Blue Lives Matter is an equity issue. There have been police officers across this country that have been targeted because they wear the badge,” she said. “Goodyear needs to come out to clarify their policy.”
Goodyear has a more than 120-year history in Ohio, a battleground state in the presidential election. Most of its competition is headquartered outside the United States.
Senator Sherrod Brown tweeted: “It’s absolutely despicable that the President would call for a boycott of an American company, based in Akron, that employs thousands of US workers.”
Presidents have at times used the bully pulpit to go after companies, but Trump has taken that opportunity to an elevated level, often with little or no pushback from Republican politicians.