Leaked audio now shows Goodyear executives lied when they denied the company was hindering the wearing of specific clothing with Blue Lives Matter slogans.The audio, which was secretly recorded by a Goodyear employee, is of a diversity training sessions at the Topeka, Kan., plant. It contradicts public statements by the company denying allegations of discriminatory programming for employees.
The controversy led to calls for a nationwide boycott which were then supported by a tweet from President Donald Trump. Trump has recently been endorsed by a majority of the nation’s law enforcement unions and organizations.
The Goodyear controversy began when a photo surfaced of a Goodyear diversity training presentation slide that stated what is acceptable and what is not under the company’s “zero-tolerance policy.”
Under the unacceptable column was: Blue Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, MAGA Attire and Political Affiliated Slogans or Material.
Under the acceptable column was: Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride (LGBT).
The picture was reportedly leaked by an anonymous Goodyear employee receiving training approved by the company’s corporate offices located in Akron, Ohio.
“Yesterday, Goodyear became the focus of a conversation that created some misconceptions about our policies and our company,” wrote Goodyear in a statement on Wednesday. “The visual in question was not created or distributed by Goodyear corporate, nor was it part of a diversity training class.”
Leaked audio from the training, provided from a Topeka NBC affiliate contradicts the statement released by the company.
“Some people may wish to express their views on social justice or inequity or equity issues such as Black Lives Matter or LGBTQ pride on their face coverings, shirts, or wristbands. That will be deemed approved because it applies with a zero-tolerance stance,” said an instructor on the recording. “However if any associate wears all, blue, white lives matter shirts or face coverings, that will not be appropriate.”
Following Trump’s call for a boycott on the company, Goodyear’s stock prices quickly began to drop and as of Friday were off almost 10% from the day the controversy broke.
–Metro Voice and wire services