Trump urges Goodyear boycott over company’s policy on MAGA hats

Josh Wingrove

President Donald Trump Wednesday called for a boycott of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. products after an image circulated on social media appeared to show an employee training session deeming Trump campaign apparel “unacceptable” for the workplace.

Shares of Akron, Ohio-based Goodyear fell as much as 6% shortly after Trump’s tweet. The stock was down 4.21% to $9.32 as of 12:22 p.m. in New York.

The image appears to show an employee training session addressing appropriate attire. Examples of “acceptable” attire or messaging included “Black Lives Matter” and LGBT statements, while “unacceptable” messaging included “MAGA Attire,” referring to Trump’s Make America Great Again slogan.

Goodyear said in a statement that the “visual in question was not created or distributed by Goodyear corporate, nor was it part of a diversity training class.” The statement didn’t explain the origin of the image.

To maintain a work environment free of harassment and discrimination, the statement said Goodyear asks “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.”

In a briefing later Wednesday, White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said the company failed to clarify its policy in the statement, noting that the image also labeled as unacceptable “Blue Lives Matter” – an expression that has emerged in support of police and to rebut the Black Lives Matter movement.

“They came out and said equity issues,” McEnany said. “As far as I’m concerned, Blue Lives Matter is an equity issue.”

Senator Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, slammed Trump for his tweet. “It’s absolutely despicable that the President would call for a boycott of an American company, based in Akron, that employs thousands of U.S. workers,” Brown wrote.

Goodyear tires have been seen on a range of government vehicles, including the presidential limousine and others maintained by the U.S. Secret Service. McEnany declined to say whether the government had any plans to change to a new tire-maker.