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Goodyear Faces Backlash Over Discrimination Policy

The slide was allegedly part of a diversity training exercise.


Goodyear is having a bad day. An employee at the tire maker recently took a photo of a slide that was allegedly used as part of a diversity training exercise. According to WIBW, a CBS affiliate in Kansas, an area manager at the company's plant in Topeka, led the presentation. The employee claimed that the slide came from Goodyear Tire and Rubber's corporate office based in Akron, Ohio.

The slide displays a simple chart of acceptable and unacceptable attire as part of the company's zero-tolerance policy. The slide lists clothing with Black Lives Matter and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride messages as acceptable. 

What many, including the whistleblower, have taken issue with is the subject matter deemed unacceptable, including Blue Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, Make America Great Again (MAGA), and political-affiliated slogans or material.

Update: Goodyear OKs Police Attire, Restricts Political Wear

The photo spread like a brush fire on social media and even garnered a response from President Donald Trump who, in a tweet, said, "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!)." 

About an hour later, Goodyear responded with the following post on twitter, "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."

According to Goodyear's statement, the visual was not created by or distributed by Goodyear corporate, and it wasn't part of a diversity training class. Goodyear stresses that it has a zero-tolerance policy for any form of harassment or discrimination. The company asks associates to refrain from workplace expressions supporting political campaigns for any candidate or political party, as well as other advocacy that falls outside of racial justice and equity issues. 

In the statement, the company adds that it supports both equality and law enforcement, noting that beliefs that the company is anti-police could not be "further from the truth." You can read the entire statement below.

In a press conference, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said that Goodyear's statement failed to clarify it's policy, which targeted a "certain ideology."

According to Reuters, shares in Goodyear fell 4.2% following the President's tweet. The company nearly reached $15 billion in revenue last year, mostly from tire sales. The company's branded tires were reportedly on 24% of new vehicles in the United States in 2018.

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