On Wednesday, President Trump urged consumers to boycott Goodyear, claiming that the company banned his "Make America Great Again," hats.
Wednesday, he stated at a White House briefing that he was "not happy" with Goodyear.
"What they are doing is playing politics," he said. "And the funny thing is, the people that work for Goodyear, I can guarantee you, I poll very well with all those great workers in Goodyear."
He continued, "There is something very wrong at the top. What the radical left does is they make it impossible for people to do business if they're Republican or if they're conservative."
He also stated that he would be switching out the tires the Secret Service vehicles he travels in have.
Earlier in the day, he tweeted "Get better tires for far less!" stating that he was copying the "Radical Left Democrats," and added, "Two can play the same game, and we have to start playing it now!"
Trump's tweet comes after WIBW-TV in Topeka, Kansas, reported that some employees at a Goodyear plant were told that the company had a "zero tolerance" policy for wearing clothing that have political messaging. The messages reportedly include MAGA, and others like "All Lives Matter" and "Blue Lives Matter."
The training slide shown by the report showed that the company had a number of acceptable messages, including "Black Lives Matter" and LGBT pride-related messages.
Goodyear released a statement on Wednesday maintaining that it "has always wholeheartedly supported both equality and law enforcement and will continue to do so." The statement stated that the image in question was not from Goodyear's corporate headquarters and "was not part of a diversity training class." The company reiterated its ban on political content in the workplace.
The city of Akron, Ohio, the home town of Goodyear, tweeted its support of the company: "Goodyear has believed in this community for generations, investing in the power, tenacity and honest people of the heartland, which is more than we can say for this president."
Cheryl Sabnis, a partner at law firm King & Spalding, stated that corporations are generally more focused on enforcing workplace rules and protecting their brand image than defending First Amendment rights to exercise free speech.
"When things like political speech come into the workplace, it can be distracting, however well intended," she said, adding that employees should be aware that their behavior outside the workplace can have an impact on their jobs, since phones with cameras make it possible for comments or behaviors to go viral and be viewed by the employer.
"At the end of the day, individuals get to decide how they want to present themselves," she said. "At the same time, employers get to decide what they believe may be inconsistent with a collaborative workplace culture and what might be inconsistent with their brand."
"It's about distracting from the work of the day — it's not about what side you are on," she concluded.
Sources: America Now