LeBron James Addresses Donald Trump's Call to Boycott Akron-Based Goodyear

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2020

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James warms up before of Game 2 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kim Klement/Pool Photo via AP)
Kim Klement/Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James praised the contributions of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company after it was targeted in a tweet by President Donald Trump. 

Following the Lakers' 111-88 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers, James spoke about Goodyear and how it reflects his hometown of Akron, Ohio, per the Washington Post's Ben Golliver:

Ben Golliver @BenGolliver

Lakers’ LeBron James on President Trump’s call for Goodyear boycott: “I know my people of Akron and what Goodyear means to our city. One thing about us, we don’t bend, fold or break for nobody. Shout out and salute to all the workers.” https://t.co/7h9MJBYoYF

Trump called upon his supporters to boycott Goodyear on Wednesday, citing the company's supposed ban on employees wearing the "Make America Great Again" hats that have become a staple of his presidency:

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

Don’t buy GOODYEAR TIRES - They announced a BAN ON MAGA HATS. Get better tires for far less! (This is what the Radical Left Democrats do. Two can play the same game, and we have to start playing it now!).

Shawn Wheat of WIBW in Topeka, Kansas, reported on an image purportedly from a Goodyear plant that outlined approved and prohibited political messaging for employees to display at work. The company issued a statement addressing the matter:

Goodyear @goodyear

Yesterday, Goodyear became the focus of a conversation that created some misconceptions about our policies and our company. Goodyear has always wholeheartedly supported both equality and law enforcement and will continue to do so. https://t.co/oO6jUg2rTR

James has been an outspoken critic of Trump, famously calling him a "bum" when the president rescinded an invitation to the Golden State Warriors to commemorate their NBA championship in 2017.

The four-time MVP told reporters earlier this month he "really [doesn't] think the basketball community are sad about losing his viewership" when Trump said seeing NBA players kneeling during the national anthem made him turn off NBA games.

On Tuesday, James was among the Lakers players who wore modified red "MAGA" hats that had crossed out part of the message to instead read, "Make America Arrest The Cops Who Killed Breonna Taylor."