Goodyear Faces Scrutiny After Leaked “Diversity” Policy Backs BLM But Not Police
Akron, OH – Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. is at the center of a political firestorm after a slide reportedly included in the company’s new diversity training course was leaked online.
The tire manufacturing giant is facing scrutiny after an unidentified employee leaked a slide showing the company’s new policy regarding diversity embracing Black Lives Matter (BLM), but rejecting organizations which support law enforcement such as Blue Lives Matter.
According to local outlet WIBW, who spoke with the employee on the condition of anonymity, the employee said he recently took the photo of the slide at the Topeka, KS plant.
Further, the employee indicated it was presented to employees by an area manager with the understanding that the new policy was being instituted from the corporate office in Akron, OH.
The slide, which quickly went viral, outlines a workplace policy of “zero-tolerance” for expressions of support for Blue Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, Make America Great Again (MAGA), and political affiliated slogans or material.
Conversely, the company deemed expressions of support for BLM and lesbian, gay, and bi-sexual pride as “acceptable.”
“If someone wants to wear a BLM shirt in here, then cool,” the employee reportedly told WIBR. “I’m not going to get offended about it. 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. If we’re talking about equality, then it needs to be equality. If not, it’s discrimination.”
A spokesperson for Goodyear, Melissa Monaco, responded to the criticism in a statement.
“Goodyear is committed to fostering an inclusive and respectful workplace where all of our associates can do their best in a spirit of teamwork,” Monaco stated. “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 policy is sparking intense debate on social media as some argue BLM is not a political group, while others contend supporters of law enforcement and President Donald Trump are being blatantly discriminated against.
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump weighed in on Twitter about the Goodyear controversy.
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
As outrage within an appreciable segment of its customer base has quickly grown, Goodyear released a follow up statement on Wednesday denying the slide was distributed by its corporate office.
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
Goodyear heavily targets the trucking market to sell its products and sponsors one of the most recognized industry awards for truckers each year called the Goodyear Highway Hero.
The award recognizes trucker for remarkable acts of heroism and service on our nation’s roadways.
So, is Goodyear’s new policy discriminatory?