Tire maker Goodyear is scrambling to do damage control after a leaked diversity-training slide suggested it’d fallen in with Black Lives Matter corporate virtue brigade, triggering calls for a boycott from President Donald Trump.
The company attempted to distance itself from the offending slide – which warned of “zero tolerance” for Make America Great Again (MAGA) hats or slogans such as “All Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter,” while deeming “Black Lives Matter” and LGBT pride attire acceptable – in a frantic tweet on Wednesday.
Cautioning that the slide had “created some misconceptions about our policies and our company,” Goodyear attempted to fob off blame for the policy on an unspecified third party.
Yesterday, Goodyear became 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. pic.twitter.com/oO6jUg2rTR
— Goodyear (@goodyear) August 19, 2020
Insisting it “has always wholeheartedly supported both equality and law enforcement and will continue to do so,” the company claimed “the visual in question was not created or distributed by Goodyear corporate, nor was it part of a diversity training class.”
The employee who originally leaked the slide claimed it was presented by an area manager during diversity training at the company’s Topeka plant and that it was produced in its Akron, Ohio corporate office. Goodyear initially declined to comment on the slide’s origins when asked about it by local media on Tuesday, but seems to have had a change of heart on seeing the president’s call for a boycott the following morning.
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However, it stopped short of embracing MAGA hats in the workplace, instead attempting to rationalize the policy it claimed not to have written by reasoning that “zero tolerance for any forms of harassment or discrimination” requires a ban on “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.”
The tweet may have merely dug Goodyear’s hole deeper, as the company soon disabled comments on its statement.
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
Citing its “BAN ON MAGA HATS” in a Wednesday morning tweet, Trump had called on his followers to boycott Goodyear, pointing out that “this is what the Radical Left Democrats do” and hinting that conservatives must learn to “play the same game.”
While Goodyear is only the latest of dozens, if not hundreds, of companies to bend the knee to BLM, it stands to lose more than most from a conservative boycott. Woke Twitter, disproportionately living in coastal cities with ample public transportation, is unlikely to be buying Goodyear products anyway, while the red-state inhabitants of “flyover country” require cars – and tires – to get from point A to point B.
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