Don't air NRA race, senator asks Rupert Murdoch
April 11th, 2013
07:45 PM ET
2 years ago

Don't air NRA race, senator asks Rupert Murdoch

(CNN) - The National Rifle Association-sponsored NASCAR race slated for this weekend is "inappropriate in the immediate wake of the Newtown massacre," Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, wrote to the race's broadcaster on Thursday.

"The race not only brings national attention to an organization that has been the face of one side of this heated debate, it also features the live shooting of guns at the end of the race," Murphy wrote to Rupert Murdoch, the chairman and chief executive of News Corporation, which owns the Fox network where the race will be broadcast.

In March, the Texas Motor Speedway announced the NRA had sponsored the NASCAR Sprint Cup event on April 13, which marked the first time the gun owners group has sponsored a race in NASCAR's top series.

Last year, the organization sponsored a Nationwide Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The April race had been promoted as the Texas 500 after the track's deal with Samsung ended last year.

The winners of races at the track are often given two revolvers and a cowboy hat while taking photographs in victory lane. The fastest qualifier is awarded a shotgun.

In his letter to Murdoch, Murphy cited the News Corp. boss' past support for tighter gun control laws in the United States, including a message Murdoch posted on Twitter shortly after the December Newtown shooting.

"Nice words from POTUS on shooting tragedy, but how about some bold leadership action?" Murdoch wrote.

"I would like to make a similar challenge to you," Murphy told the media mogul in his letter Thursday. "You should play a constructive role in our national dialogue by refraining from broadcasting the NRA 500. By airing this race you will be strengthening the brand of a radical organization that is currently standing in the way of meaningful progress on this issue."

Fox Sports remains under contract with NASCAR to broadcast certain Sprint Cup races.

CNN's Steve Almasy contributed to this report.


Filed under: NRA
soundoff (708 Responses)
  1. Dee

    This is ridiculous!!!! A little over the top one might say???

    April 12, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  2. d

    I guess I will be making myself a radical NRA member out of protest of this government official trying to tell me what I can and can't watch.

    April 12, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  3. The Real Tom Paine

    -Rsigley

    Are we permananetly going to be in wake of Newtown. Not trying to be cold, but at some point people need to stop using those victims.
    ***********
    I agree. Lets also move beyond Aurora, Virginia Tech, 9/11, Oklahoma City, and Pearl Harbor. Quit whining and move on. Don't bother to learn or change.

    April 12, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  4. motorfirebox

    "So now our government wants to use a sporting event to further a political position. Great..."

    But it's okay for the NRA to use a sporting event to further a political position, right?

    April 12, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  5. pkrbkr3

    Sure hope the NRA is stifled.....more Congressmen need to get some balls....if guns made us safer we should be the safest country in the world....good for you, Senator Murphy!

    April 12, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  6. ricke1949

    Supression is starting. Should be interesting.

    April 12, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  7. Paul

    Some people apparently believe in the right of free speech as long as your speech aggress with theirs. What's the problem with that?

    April 12, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  8. Paul

    Shouldn't NASCAR itself be boycotted because people were killed by drunk drivers and NASCAR was founded by bootleggers and it has cars in it?

    April 12, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  9. Nate

    I am probably one of the few liberals who is also a NASCAR fan, but I'm not watching the NRA 500. I agree with Senator Murphy that having an NRA sponsored race is in poor taste, but I disagree with his letter to FOX. It won't do any good and it makes liberals look pro-censorship. Instead of trying to appeal to Rupert Murdoch's sense of decency (he has none, by the way), Senator Murphy should send letters to companies who plan to advertise during the race and encourage them to back out. That might be more effective. At any rate, I'm not watching Saturday night.

    April 12, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  10. Pixita

    This as a rather idiotic request since there are sponsors who have paid to have there products viewed during the telecast and I'm assuming Nascar would not only lose a ton of money by not broadcasting but probably has legally binding contracts that would not permit them to do so. It won't stop the race or stop people from attending the race so what is the point? Should we also remove all tv programming that involves guns? I am all for new and more stringent laws regarding gun control but this is not the way to go about it. Regarding the insult to Nascar by Sniffit, you're an idiot if you think just anyone can drive a car for 2 to 3 hours at speeds up to 200 miles per hour on banked courses with 30 plus cars mere inches away from them.

    April 12, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  11. DCBuck

    I'm not a fan of the NRA, but they have every right to sponsor this race, and Fox Sports has every right to broadcast it. And it's utter nonsense that it's somehow "disrespectful" to the Newtown families. I find Senator Murphy's use of them as a bludgeon to be far more offensive.

    April 12, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  12. Big D

    ' it also features the live shooting of guns at the end of the race' ?? Senator Murphy is an idiot. They shoot blanks, like at the start of a track & field event. Not like they're going to fire real rounds into the air.

    April 12, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  13. NRA is Americas best Hope

    Sen. Murphy shut up about your gun control crap. NRA is a defender of American liberties! 2nd Amendment that's all.

    April 12, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  14. Daniel Voyles

    i agree with senator murphy let a new company sponsor a race for once

    April 12, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  15. Bill D

    "The race not only brings national attention to an organization that has been the face of one side of this heated debate, it also features the live shooting of guns at the end of the race," Murphy wrote to Rupert Murdoch"

    Guess we shouldn't have military funerals either, they shoot guns off there too.

    April 12, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  16. Martha

    Good. Put Murdoch on the spot. He'll air it, but it will be noted that he's airing the race after a US Senator asked him not to in light of the NRAs refusal to even discuss gun control.

    April 12, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  17. bruce t

    2nd amendment is dead. People need to comply with all things.

    April 12, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  18. Natch

    Another Democrat pushing the liberal agenda by demanding censorship. What a shock!

    April 12, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  19. Jon

    Nice. Will they also be sponsoring Moon Pies and Mountain Dew?

    April 12, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  20. Nick Shafer

    That's right! If someone else doesn't agree with us then we need to impose censorship! The NRA should not be allowed to have free speech! How dare anyone oppose our emotional reaction aimed at taking rights away from past, present, and future American gun owners! When we want something we should be able to throw a tantrum, stomp our feet, and have it given to us with no argument! We liberals know what is best for you not yourself! We're better than you and we know it!

    Man channeling the liberal brain is ridiculous. Having done so, I feel a little dumber. C'mon bleeding hearts, let your brilliant comments flow! Yuk! I did it again!

    April 12, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  21. gmenfan54

    The winner should get a bullet proof vest instead.

    April 12, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  22. Braden

    There are more criminals associated with the democratic party. I don't see the Senator oppositing the BET awards seeing that the hip hop culture has created more criminals and advocate gun violence moreso than the NRA ever has. Truley, they really don't care to actually resolve the real issue and take the gun violence fight to where the real issue is.

    April 12, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  23. DDy

    I find it amusing that those who promote the prposed senate bill on gun control don't seem to have read it.The current law which requires gunshops to have a FBI checkout before a sale requires that any information gathered in that check must be destroyed in 48 hours. The proposed law contains no destruction wording. Now why do you think some people are nervous about potential gun confiscation? There is likely no intent in the bill to go the way of a national registry but come on how much of our personal information does the governement really need.

    April 12, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  24. idontthinkso

    Are you people fricking kidding me? Senators worried about what is on television is part of the problem with this country. Why dont you pass some legislation that will keep the criminals is jail, or secure our borders, or kill this insane Obama care Bill or something? Leave the damn nascar fans alone, they are the least of or problems...,

    everybody in Washington is an idiot......

    April 12, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  25. Anonymous

    Do people in the crowd get to shoot at the cars as they go by? And if not, why not?

    April 12, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
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