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. amazed@the duplicitousness

    Get someone on the anti-gun side to sponsor the race then. It is a business....a sporting even that needs sponsorship. Get Bloomberg to sponsor it...

    If you don't like the sponsor don't watch.

    April 12, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  2. Realley!!!

    Why should i be denied an event because of one mans political driven opinion? Well I think that we should make all of the Senators stay in the Senate until a budget is passed. Why we are at it they should also give up 20% of their salary as well since that is what is happening to many other government employees.

    April 12, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  3. Harleigh

    Boycot Connecticut

    April 12, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  4. hvfpaints

    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!

    We are one of the safest countries in the world. The chances of your being assaulted are 6 times higher in England.

    April 12, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  5. The_dude

    Liberals are the enemy of free speech that's for sure

    April 12, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  6. Mark Gentry

    And when Nascar sues Fox for breach of contract which network is gonna get the races. Keep your politics in washington.

    April 12, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  7. Doug

    If a sporting event sponsored by a company that ends up killing people is going to be stopped then there will be no sporting events in the country. Cars kill, beer kills, sugary drinks kill, nitrates in hot dogs are bad for you. I am all for more stringent backgroud checks, but once the country starts down this track it will never come back.

    April 12, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  8. Tom

    I wish they would just move on. Find something productive. The NRA does great things to educate fire arms users. Maybe its time for a real budget. Maybe time to drive the economy and put people back to work. Oh and maybe give the president something to do instead of party and vacations. Come on people let's get back to the basics and drive this country back to what it once was.

    April 12, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  9. SeriouslyClark

    I don't watch NASCAR as a rule, but since NRA is sponsoring this I will tune in.... Just because I don't want anyone telling me what I can watch or Not watch especially from groups that I dislike and don't agree with in the first place.
    Gentlemen Start your Engines!!!

    April 12, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  10. Michael

    To all you moronic NRA supporters ....... "what comes around goes around"!

    April 12, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  11. DJ Reality

    The NRA is a political group and should not be associated with any sport. Where is the GOP 500 or the DNC 400? We need to politics out of sports. Please don't ruin everything with the infusion of politics. I am a die hard NASCAR fan but, I will not watch this race.

    April 12, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  12. Nobody Cares

    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.

    *****

    I agree. No matter the weapon, people will find a way to kill other people.

    April 12, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  13. gdouglaso

    At first, I thought, what an absolutely ridiculous request. However, on reading that Murdoch has such a strong stance and is willing, as a foreigner to question the leadership of the POTUS on gun issues based on Newtown, perhaps it is time for the outspoken, brash and arguably dubious (based on phone hacking scandal) Murdoch group to either put up or shut up.

    April 12, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  14. Huck

    The last time I checked no one ever opened fire at a NASCAR event. Just shows you how stupid Senators are these days. Thank God we had Senators with guts during the revolution!

    April 12, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  15. John

    Great now sponsorship thanks to the Senators letter is the issue. Shame on both sides for the political event.

    Lets continue to USE the people of Newtown as the pawn...it really makes me sick.

    April 12, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  16. w.

    i have far better things to occupy my valuable time than to warm the seat of a sofa idling mindlessly as abstractions of cars race by in a giant loop. This is video vomit and I am not predisposed to being among the company of a population that devotes themselves to mental minimalism. With what little time I have left I would feel that it is far better to direct my interests into a more constructive and productive effort. I have never felt that NASCAR is a sport, and I have raced cars in the past. You don't "play" racing. This is just about power, money, and influence of those who would enjoy a view down upon others. Intoxicants want your money, nothing more.

    April 12, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  17. teacher

    d – but it is ok for an extremely radical group to tell the representatives of the American people how to vote and what will happen to them if they do not vote the way the NRA wants them to. I think the first step in the people taking back our government is to get rid of terrorist groups like the NRA and lobbyists that buy our legislators. Then get rid of the legislators who sold themselves for their own gain.

    April 12, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  18. DARNELL

    Kids killed everyday in Chicago, but nobody cares... white kids die and everyone freaks out. PROPAGANDA

    April 12, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  19. Rick C.

    Boycotting the event because it's a nascrap 'race' is reason enough.

    April 12, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  20. The Central Scrutinizer

    These people will stop at nothing and Chris Murphy's tirade is typical of infantile liberal logic ... Ban and censor anything we don't like. So if guns are bad and kill people what about the stock cars speeding around at over 100 mph on the track – guess we ought to call off the whole race then because those evil cars kill WAY more people than guns do ... what a moron.

    April 12, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  21. Rich

    Smells like censorship to me..

    April 12, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  22. MF

    Boogity boogity boogity....Let's go racin boys!

    April 12, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  23. Marvin Jergens

    Tell Colt Arms to come south. The work enviornment is not so hostile.

    April 12, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  24. Futureman1

    Is NASCAR is a sporting event then freeway commutes are the equivalent of going to the gym right? Not!

    April 12, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  25. GianniG

    It's not violating anything under the FCC; so who does he think he is? Does he think he has the power to dictate?

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