TROY, Ohio (WDTN) – Tyler Hicks couldn’t see how anyone could get political about tires.
Hicks is the service manager at Tire Discounters in Troy. He was taken aback when he heard about President Donald Trump’s call for a boycott of Goodyear tires, a brand his service center carries.
“If you want Goodyears, I’ll keep selling them to you,” Hicks said.
Trump called for a boycott of one of America’s iconic brands after a web story at a TV station in Topeka, Kan., showed a slide from a company presentation at one of the Goodyear plants there. Trump’s famous “Make America Great Again” attire as well as “Blue Lives Matter” and “All Lives Matter” as well as “politically affiliated slogans or material” was listed among unacceptable attire at the company with the words “Zero Tolerance” above it. Listed as acceptable were Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride (LGBT). The person who provided the photo said the slide was part of a presentation sent from Goodyear corporate. Goodyear, in response, said this wasn’t true.
Trump on Wednesday called for a boycott of Goodyear tires on his twitter account.
Goodyear responded with a statement on Wednesday: “First, the visual in question was not created or distributed by Goodyear corporate, nor was it part of a training class,” the statement read.
Politically, Goodyear is as active in donating money as other major corporations. According to opensecrets.org, Goodyear’s Political Action Committee has made 61 percent of its federal donations to Republicans this cycle and 39 percent to Democrats, but the money amounts are nearly split – with $33,500 going to Republicans and $30,000 going to Democrats.
As of Wednesday, Goodyear’s PAC had split donations in Congress but hadn’t donated to any Senate Democrats, only Republicans. The list included Ohio Congressional members Marcia Fudge (D), Anthony Gonzalez (R), Bill Johnson (R), Marcy Kaptur (D) and Tim Ryan (D) as well as Rob Portman (R) in the Senate.
Goodyear has been the only tire used in NASCAR’s top circuit for decades. Hicks said Goodyear tires are standard equipment on many police vehicles.
“Goodyear comes OE (original equipment) on many police cars,” Hicks said. “They’re standard on the Dodge Charger Pursuit police cruiser model and the Ford Explorer Interceptor. Unless they’ve changed recently, they all come with the Goodyear Eagle Sport.”
Hicks said he understands politics and people having their own opinions but felt car tires were a ridiculous platform for the discussion.
“I get it, everyone gets opinions,” Hicks said. “I get that part, but I find it quite ridiculous. It’s a tire company. I don’t see why you would want to boycott a tire company.”
Goodyear’s full statement regarding Trump’s call for a boycott is available on its website.