Goodyear melts down after being called out for reportedly bashing Blue Lives Matter and pro-Trump messaging

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AKRON, OH– Goodyear has released a verbose statement detailing their support for both equality and law enforcement as well as diversity and inclusion of their more than 60,000 associates.

It’s perhaps one of the most confusing, backtracking strings of messaging we’ve seen from the corporate world in years.

The reason for the long-winded statement? Yesterday, a photo of a slide showing what’s “acceptable” and what’s “unacceptable” as part of their zero-tolerance policy circulated social media.

Allegedly, an employee of the company, who remains anonymous, was at the training and snapped the photo of the slide.

The employee claims that this slide was presented at the Topeka plant by an area manager and that the slide came from their corporate office out of Akron. The slide’s heading read “zero tolerance” and then underneath it were two columns.

One column said, “acceptable” and listed the following: Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride (LGBT).

The other column said, “unacceptable” and listed the following: Blue Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, MAGA Attire, and Political Affiliated slogans or material.

So now Goodyear is saying it wasn’t created or distributed by Goodyear corporate or part of the diversity training class.  But they’re also not denying it came from them.

And on Twitter, after releasing their statement, they immediately turned off commenting so that nobody could weigh in or ask questions.

It seems that Goodyear’s heartfelt apology (sarcasm) came shortly after President Trump tweeted this:

The time stamp on Trump’s tweet was 10:33 a.m. The time stamp on Goodyear’s letter to the public was 11:46 a.m.

Goodyear’s statement says:

“The visual in question was not created or distributed by Goodyear corporate, nor was it part of a diversity training class.”

Yet, the employee who allegedly was at the diversity training and took the photo of the slide they claim to have seen with their own two eyes told WIBW:

“If someone wants to wear a BLM shit here, then cool. 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, then thats [sic] discriminatory.”

She added:

“If we’re talking about equality, then it needs to be equality. If not, it’s discrimination.”

Goodyear’s statement concluded by reiterating their profound appreciation for law enforcement:

“We have heard from some of you that believe Goodyear is anti-police after reacting to the visual. Nothing could be further from the truth and we have the upmost appreciation for the vital work police do on behalf of our shared communities. This can’t be said strongly enough.”

Does that have something to do with all of those tire sales for police vehicles that are about to vanish?

During a White House press briefing on Wednesday, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said that Goodyear’s statement that addressed the alleged “misconceptions” failed to clarify their actual policy.

She said:

“What was not allowed was Blue Lives Matter, what was clearly targeted was a certain ideology.”

She added:

“They came out and said ‘equity issues.’ As far as I’m concerned, Blue Lives Matter is an ‘equity issue’. Blue Lives Matter is an equity issue and Goodyear needs to come out and acknowledge that.”

In addition, she noted the president’s comment about boycotting the company.

She said:

“MAGA is unanimous with Blue Lives Matter these days, if you’ve seen the endorsements. The president will never apologize for standing with law enforcement, he won’t.”

Although not in their statement that they released via social media, Goodyear’s spokeswoman Melissa Monaco specifically responded to an email request for comment to the Police Tribune and added this:

“As a supplier of tires to police, fire, and other law enforcement departments across the U.S., Goodyear remains steadfastly in support of federal, state, and local law enforcement. We value our partnerships with law enforcement around the country, appreciate the work they do on behalf of our shared communities, and look forward to continuing those relationships for years to come.”

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LET Unity

It appears it’s not just companies bowing to political pressure against police these days, as Chiefs have been doing the same thing. Check out this article from Law Enforcement Today about an interim police chief in Boise, Indiana who enacted a new policy preventing officers from displaying Thin Blue Line flags in public.

Call it a final act of spinelessness.  

Interim Boise Police Chief Ron Winegar enacted a new policy at the end of June preventing Boise Police officers from displaying the Thin Blue Line in public.

According to a June 25 email from Winegar to the Boise Police Department staff, obtained in a public records request by the Idaho Press, Winegar would be banning the flag, stickers, face masks or anything else with the symbol on it from being displayed in public places.

It would still be allowed to be displayed in BPD headquarters at City Hall West, which is closed to the public.

Winegar said this policy change is conflicting for him because he believes the Thin Blue Line represented “dedication, sacrifice, and history”, and he has one hung up in his office, but he said it has become a divisive symbol for some and must be removed.

Winegar said in a videotaped address to the department:

“We are attempting to navigate through some very difficult times with race relations in this country as well as relations with our school partners in Boise.”

He continued:

“When that symbol creates a problem or a barrier for our partners externally, we need to be responsive to their requests.”

He said this stems from a request by a Boise Public Schools administrator to have a School Resource Officer remove the flag from his office at a school. The school was not identified.

The Thin Blue Line flag, which looks like an American flag in black and white, with a thin blue line across the middle, has become a controversial symbol in the past several years.

It is commonly displayed by members of law enforcement, and is symbolic to police officers and their supporters who say they are the “thin blue line” between law and order and chaos.

The phrase has its roots in the Crimean War of 1854, where a British infantry regiment of Scottish Highlanders held off a Russian cavalry charge, according to Politico.

Those who fly the flag say it is not political statement, rather that it shows support for police officers. Many who have been protesting against the deaths of black Americans at the hands of police in recent years, say it is a symbol of white supremacy.

The flag has been flown at peaceful events in support of law enforcement nationwide, but was also displayed at the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Winegar’s policy change was released on the same day the department stopped the use of the Lateral Vascular Neck Restraint, which is commonly known as a “sleeper hold.”

This comes around a time when, in early July, city leaders met with community members to discuss equality for minority groups, city policing procedures, and city budget concerns, particularly funding for law enforcement.

Among those in attendance were Boise Mayor Lauren McLean, three city council members, Boise’s new police chief Ryan Lee and Deputy Chief Ron Winegar.

Much of the conversation between members of the community and city officials focused on the city’s budget and the proposed $1 million increase for Boise Police in next year’s budget.

Many members feel that money could be better allocated to other areas, such as addressing mental health crises, and calls for service within the community. 

Mayor Lauren McLean addressed that and said it’s something she and the council are actively looking at.

She said:

“I agree with you, with all of you that we have to address mental health and addiction crises in our community,” 

She continued:

“It’s a partnership between the city and other agencies and organizations,”

Finally she said:

“This can’t just be that we rob Peter to pay Paul. But rather, how to build a community with many of you, address the needs that you identify, and create the plans to move us forward so we can serve our citizens in better ways.” 

Council member Lisa Sanchez said she fully supports the idea of reallocating some funding and resources to areas where it’s most needed. 

Sanchez said:

“It might be that yes, some of those resources are redirected,”

She added:

“I got to be honest, I don’t know how that’s done but it’s something I’m committed to learning.” 

 

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