President Trump called for a boycott of Goodyear Tire & Rubber over a corporate diversity policy that reportedly banned employees from wearing his “MAGA” hats among other conservative gear.
Trump slammed the tire giant in a Wednesday tweet after an employee leaked a slide from a presentation that appeared to label Black Lives Matter and LGBT Pride “acceptable” messages, while “MAGA attire” was deemed “unacceptable” along with “Blue Lives Matter” and “All Lives Matter.”
“Don’t buy GOODYEAR TIRES – They announced a BAN ON MAGA HATS,” Trump said on Twitter.
“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!).”
Goodyear shares were off 3.7 percent at $9.38 in early afternoon trading on Wednesday.
Trump called for a boycott after Topeka, Kansas TV station WIBW published a photo of the slide snapped by an anonymous employee. It purported to describe what was allowed under the company’s “Zero Tolerance” policy.
The outlet reported that the slide was part of a diversity training and came from Goodyear’s corporate headquarters. The company denied those assertions but didn’t explain who created the slide or the context in which it was presented.
“If someone wants to wear a BLM shirt in here, then cool. I’m not going to get offended about it,” the worker told the outlet. “But at the same time, if someone’s not going to be able to wear something that is politically based, even in the farthest stretch of the imagination, that’s discriminatory.”
In a Wednesday statement , Goodyear said it asks employees not to express support in the workplace for political candidates, campaigns or any other cause that falls “outside the scope of racial justice and equity issues.” The policy is meant to prevent harassment and discrimination, the company said.
“Fostering an inclusive, respectful workplace is important to establish teamwork and build culture, which is another reason we ask associates not to engage in political campaigning of any kind in the workplace — for any candidate, party or political organization,” Goodyear said.
“Goodyear has always wholeheartedly supported both equality and law enforcement and will continue to do so,” it added.
Goodyear’s critics said the company’s explanation didn’t pass the smell test. They said the company was effectively condoning left-wing views while forbidding other opinions.
“If businesses are going to deliberately enter the political realm at the behest of the wokest clientele, then everyone else will have to loudly boycott in response to establish mutually assured destruction,” Ben Shapiro, founder of the conservative news website the Daily Wire, said on Twitter.
“The notion that expressing support for Black Lives Matter isn’t a political statement is absurd,” tweeted Paul Joseph Watson, a far-right radio host and conspiracy theorist.
“If ‘blue lives matter’ is political, it is only because one side of the political aisle has decided to define itself by its raw hatred for law enforcement,” blogger Matt Walsh wrote in a Daily Wire column. “But that does not make the message inherently divisive.”