President Donald Trump called for a boycott of Goodyear tires on Wednesday, after a viral video purportedly showed that the company is banning pro-Trump speech while allowing speech in support of liberal issues, Yahoo Finance reported. However, the company insists that the call for a boycott is based on a misunderstanding.
On Tuesday, WIBW-TV reported that an employee of the company told the station that the company has instituted a new policy that isn’t fair to conservative employees. Specifically, according to a photograph that featured a slide shown to employees during training, the company laid out what sort of speech the Ohio-based manufacturer allows and does not allow.
In the “Acceptable” column were Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ-related speech, while in the “Unacceptable” column were Blue Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, Make America Great Again (MAGA) attire, and “political affiliated slogans or material.”
The employee claimed that the slide was shown to him and other employees at a Topeka plant by an area manager as part of its diversity training, and that the slides had come from company headquarters in Akron.
The photo soon began circulating on social media, where it drew outrage from conservatives.
On Wednesday, President Trump got in on the conversation. In a tweet, he called for a boycott of the company.
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
It appears as if Trump’s call for a boycott actually affected the manufacturer’s stock price, albeit briefly. For a time on Wednesday, Goodyear stock fell by more than 2 percent, until the company issued a statement clarifying things.
In a tweet, the company said that the training that purportedly happened in Topeka did not come from headquarters, nor was it part of a diversity training class.
The manufacturer did say that while it allows its employees to advocate for social issues, it does forbid them from directly advocating for political candidates.
“Goodyear is committed to fostering an inclusive and respectful workplace where all of our associates can do their best in a spirit of teamwork… 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,” the statement reads, in part.
Finally, the tire company noted that supporting law enforcement and social equity are “not mutually exclusive,” and rejected any suggestion that the manufacturer is in any way anti-police.