AKRON—Goodyear finds itself in the center of a national controversy after President Trump called for a ban of the tire maker in an Aug. 19 tweet.
"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!)," President Trump wrote on Twitter at 10:33 a.m.
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
By lunchtime Aug. 19, the term "Goodyear" (No. 2) and "MAGA" (No. 6) were trending in the U.S. Top 10 on Twitter.
On Aug. 18, a photo was widely circulated on social media that appears to outline Goodyear's rules regarding wearing political attire at work.
A photo of a presentation slide, which Goodyear denies creating, shows the tire maker's "one team" branding and the header "zero tolerance." It lists apparel with Trump's Make America Great Again slogan as being unacceptable, along with "All Political Slogans or Material." "Blue Lives Matter" and "All Lives Matter" apparel also is listed as "unacceptable."
The slide, the origins of which are still unknown, lists work apparel promoting "Black Lives Matter" and "Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, Transgender Pride. (LGBT)" as acceptable.
"First, the visual in question was not created or distributed by Goodyear corporate, nor was it part of a diversity training class," the company said in a statement posted on Twitter.
"To be clear on our longstanding corporate policy, Goodyear has zero tolerance for any forms of harassment or discrimination. 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."
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
Shares of Goodyear stock were trading at $9.58 at 10:30 a.m. and fell to $9.36 by 10:35 a.m., two minutes after Trump's tweet. The stock had rebounded to $9.48 by shortly before noon after previously closing at $9.73.