FILE PHOTO: A U.S. flag flies at a Goodyear Tire facility in Somerville, Massachusetts, U.S., July 25, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday called for a boycott of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company after a photo of a slideshow with the company’s logo circulated on social media. The slide summarized zero-tolerance policies at a Topeka, Kan., plant that listed Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride under “Acceptable” attire, while “Unacceptable” attire included Blue Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, MAGA Attire, and Political Affiliated Slogans or Material.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Goodyear should further clarify its policy and referred to support for Blue Lives Matter as an equity issue. “If you can wear a Black Lives Matter hat, guess what, you should be able to wear a Blue Lives Matter one, too.”

Goodyear stated on Twitter that it “has always wholeheartedly supported both equality and law enforcement and will continue to do so.” The company added that the visual circulated on social media “was not created or distributed by Goodyear corporate nor was it part of a diversity training class.” The post did not state the origin of the visual.

Audio of the training provided to Topeka outlet WIBW included a speaker stating that all political campaign attire was banned. “Democrat. Republican. Trump. Biden. Sanders. Whatever. That will no longer be allowed in the plant,” he listed off.

Numerous Ohio lawmakers expressed concern regarding a boycott, as Goodyear’s headquarters are located in Akron, Ohio. Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown said that President Trump “simply doesn’t care about the workers in Akron.” Ohio Representative Tavia Galonski stated, “Goodyear employees have been contacting me all day and they are enraged. I do not understand trying to cripple an American manufacturer.”

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

“Blue Lives Matter is an equity issue”: McEnany defends Trump’s Goodyear boycott tweet – Axios – 8/19/2020
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Wednesday that Blue Lives Matter is an “equity issue,” noting that “MAGA is pretty much unanimous” with the group. […] Goodyear “failed to clarify their policy,” McEnany told reporters on Wednesday. She said she had seen Goodyear’s explanation that it broadly asks employees to refrain from political speech.

White House urges Goodyear to ‘clarify their policy,’ calls Blue Lives Matter an ‘equity issue’ – Fox News – 8/19/2020
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany urged Goodyear to “clarify their policy” after President Trump urged Americans not to purchase tires from the company over a reported ban for employees on wearing MAGA hats and politically affiliated slogans, including “Blue Lives Matter.”

Trump Starts Tire Fire in Swing State Over MAGA Boycott Tweet – The Daily Beast – 8/19/2020
Rep. Tim Ryan, the Democratic congressman who represents the Akron area, said the tweet was a “holy sh*t” moment in a presidency that’s already been full of them. Ryan told The Daily Beast his immediate reaction was “a little bit shocked at the level of stupidity” on the part of the president. “This is an iconic American company in a swing state… it’s really, really dumb politically. But it shows the problem that he has—that it’s more about him than it is about other people.”

McEnany: If Goodyear Permits Black Lives Matter, Allow Blue Lives Matter – Breitbart – 8/19/2020
McEnany added that “What was clearly targeted was a certain ideology.” She disputed the idea that Goodyear was only trying to ban political speech and not issues of equity. “As far as I’m concerned, Blue Lives Matter is an equity issue. There have been police officers across this country that have been targeted because they wear the badge,” she said, referring to recent police officer attacks.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

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