Last Updated on August 19, 2020
Following a swift rebuke from President Donald Trump, Goodyear Tire has disavowed a slideshow shown to its employees in Topeka, Kansas that told them the company had a “zero tolerance” policy towards support for Trump, All Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter.
The company’s share value plummeted on Wednesday after President Trump called on his supporters to boycott it, after a presentation was shown to employees in Topeka telling them that “Blue Lives Matter”, “All Lives Matter” and “MAGA attire” were “unacceptable”.
“Yesterday, Goodyear became the focus of a conversation that created some misconceptions about our policies and our company,” Goodyear wrote in a statement released on Twitter. “Goodyear has always wholeheartedly supported both equality and law enforcement and will continue to do so.”
The company attempted to distance itself from the presentation.
“The visual in question was not created or distributed by Goodyear corporate, nor was it part of a diversity training class,” Goodyear added.
Furthermore, the company backtracked on its apparent opposition to the pro-law enforcement slogan “Blue Lives Matter”:
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 utmost appreciation for the vital work police do on behalf of our shared communities. This can’t be said strongly enough.
That said, given the phrase “Blue Lives Matter” was not explicitly mentioned in the statement, the attitude of the company towards that slogan remains unclear.
The company did reiterate that it requests “associates refrain from … forms of advocacy that fall outside the scope of racial justice and equity issues”.
Presumably, this request almost certainly still applies to their ban on “MAGA attire” and “All Lives Matter”. Meanwhile, by reaffirming their “racial justice and equity issues” exception for advocacy in the workplace – an exception that appears to apply almost entirely to left-wing political activity, Goodyear has made clear that progressive causes such as “Black Lives Matter” and “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride” are still permitted and welcome in their workplaces.