AKRON — Goodyear President and CEO Rich Kramer said the slide that was created at its plant in Topeka, Kan. — which set off a firestorm of controversy, including a tweet from President Donald Trump urging his followers to boycott Goodyear tires — was created by a plant employee without prior approval of the company's corporate office.
The Akron-based tire maker posted a letter on its Facebook site from Mr. Kramer late Thursday afternoon.
"The slide was not approved or distributed by Goodyear corporate or anyone outside of (the Topeka) facility," Mr. Kramer wrote.
"I deeply regret the impression it has created and want to clarify Goodyear's position."
Mr. Kramer went on to reiterate its position: It does not endorse any political organization, party or candidate.
"Secondly," Mr. Kramer said, "Goodyear strongly supports our law enforcement partners and deeply appreciates all they do to put their lives on the line each and every day for our communities.
"We have proudly supplied tires to police and fire personnel for more than 100 years, and the relationship is foundational to our company."
Mr. Kramer said the tire maker has clarified to employees that they may express support for law enforcement by wearing apparel at Goodyear facilities.
"The core of our company is our people and our culture," Mr. Kramer wrote. "Goodyear has always supported both law enforcement and equal justice. We will always do so."