President Trump elaborated on his call for a boycott of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. on Wednesday, telling reporters that it was “disgraceful” for the company to allegedly institute a policy banning employees from wearing “Make America Great Again” or “Blue Lives Matters” apparel.
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“I’m not happy with Goodyear because what they’re doing is playing politics, and the funny thing is, people that work for Goodyear, I can guarantee you I poll very well with all of those great workers at Goodyear,” Trump said at a White House briefing of the company headquartered in Akron, Ohio.
“When they say that you can’t have Blue Lives Matter, you can’t show a blue line, you can’t wear a MAGA hat, but you can have other things that are Marxist in nature, there’s something wrong with the top of Goodyear,” the president added.
Trump called for a boycott of Goodyear tires on Wednesday after a local news station in Kansas shared a slide of a presentation captured by an employee at a plant in Topeka. The slide, reportedly taken from a diversity training session, showed a list of acceptable and unacceptable phrases under Goodyear’s “zero-tolerance policy.”
The slide listed “Black Lives Matter” and “LGBT” under acceptable phrases, while the Trump slogan “Make America Great Again” and the pro-police slogan “Blue Lives Matter” were listed under unacceptable phrases.
Trump said it was “up to people” if they want to boycott Goodyear over the reported policy.
“It’s a terrible thing,” Trump said. “They’re using their power over these people. These people want to wear whatever it is that we’re talking about. I would be very much in favor if people don’t want to buy there…I think it’s disgraceful that they did this.”
Goodyear shares fell more than two percent in trading Wednesday after the report surfaced. In a statement, Goodyear said the “visual in question was not created or distributed by Goodyear corporate, nor was it part of a diversity training class.”
“To be clear on our longstanding corporate policy, Goodyear has zero tolerance for any forms of harassment or discrimination,” the statement added. “To enable a work environment free of those, we ask that associates refrain from workplace expressions in support of 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.”