Trump, Republicans Condemn Goodyear After Images Circulate Claiming Company Bans 'MAGA' and 'Blue Lives Matter' Attire

President Donald Trump, along with a number of other Republicans, spoke out against Goodyear after images circulated saying that the company banned employees from wearing "MAGA" and "Blue Lives Matter" attire at work, but Goodyear says that the slide in question was not created or shared by the company in a later statement.

The president advised people not to buy the company's tires following reports on Tuesday that the company deemed MAGA hats "unacceptable" during a diversity training session. "Don't buy GOODYEAR TIRES - They announced a BAN ON MAGA HATS. Get better tires for far less," he wrote.

Trump also claimed that he was now just copying "what the Radical Left Democrats do" in telling people to buy tires elsewhere.

In a statement, Trump campaign Deputy National Press Secretary Ken Farnaso said that the president was fighting for workers to express their freedom of speech. "It's a sad state of affairs when big shot CEOs in boardrooms decide to infringe on their employee's First Amendment rights. President Trump is not only fighting on behalf of every worker at Goodyear, but every American who wishes to exercise their freedom of speech," he said.

The company responded to the backlash, denying that the image was created by Goodyear and reiterating its policies. The first two points highlighted in the statement said that the company had a zero tolerance policy for discrimination and harassment, and that it appreciated having a staff with many diverse points of view. The company did say that it "ask[s] that associates refrain from workplace expressions in support of political campaigning for any candidate or political party," in the first point. The second point echoed similar requests to refrain from workplace expressions supporting a candidate or party.

The company's third point responded to accusations that the company was anti-police. "Goodyear has always wholeheartedly both equality and law enforcement and will continue to do so. These are not mutually exclusive," the company said. "[W]e have the utmost appreciation for the vital work police do on behalf of our shared communities. This can't be said strongly enough."

On Tuesday, WIBW, a news outlet from Topeka, Kansas, reported that a Goodyear employee shared a slide shown during a diversity training session at a local Goodyear plant that said that the company had a zero-tolerance policy for employees wearing various slogans. The slide lists "Blue Lives Matter", "All Lives Matter", "MAGA" and political slogans and attire as unacceptable, but includes "Black Lives Matter" and LGBT pride expressions as acceptable.

A spokesperson for Goodyear told WIBW that the company does allow their employees to speak out against racial injustice, but asks employees to hold off on showing support for political candidates at work. "Goodyear is committed to fostering an inclusive and respectful workplace where all of our associates can do their best in a spirit of teamwork. As part of this commitment, we do allow our associates to express their support on racial injustice and other equity issues but ask that they refrain from workplace expressions, verbal or otherwise, in support of political campaigning for any candidate or political party as well as other similar forms of advocacy that fall outside the scope of equity issues," the statement said.

While the slide was not an official training material from Goodyear, clothing with MAGA printed on it would fall under an expression of support for a political campaign for a candidate, as it is the president's campaign slogan.

A number of other Republicans also spoke out against the alleged ban. Texas Congressman Lance Gooden called it "political discrimination." Senatorial candidate and Georgia Rep. Doug Collins and California congressional candidate Errol Webber also spoke out against the tire company.

In an additional statement provided to Newsweek, Gooden expanded on his thoughts regarding the policies. "Goodyear's policies suppressing the views of conservative employees must not be tolerated. It's a gross restriction of political speech and I call on them to eliminate this disturbing political indoctrination from their employee training," he said.

In response to the president's tweets, people criticized him for attacking the company, saying it was within Goodyear's rights to have the policy.

A media contact for Goodyear did not respond to Newsweek's request for comment in time for publication. A press contact for the Trump campaign did not respond to Newsweek's emailed request for comment in time for publication. Contacts for Collins' campaign and Webber's campaign did not respond to Newsweek's emailed requests for comment in time for publication.

Goodyear
A Goodyear logo is pictured during the Tokyo Auto Salon in Tokyo on January 12, 2020. Getty/CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP

Updated 11:30 a.m. ET: This story has been updated with additional context.

Updated 12:05 p.m. ET: This story has been updated to include Goodyear's comment and indicate that the images were not created or distributed by the company.

Updated 12:18 p.m. ET: This story has been updated with additional context and to include Gooden's statement.

Updated 12:54 p.m. ET: This story has been updated to include the Trump campaign's comment.

Trump, Republicans Condemn Goodyear After Images Circulate Claiming Company Bans 'MAGA' and 'Blue Lives Matter' Attire | Culture