Don't air NRA race, senator asks Rupert Murdoch
April 11th, 2013
07:45 PM ET
7 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. terryrayc

    Listen, if you do not want to support the NRA then DON'T watch the race. For a Senator to use his official position to demand a network not show a race scream censorship. This is someone who needs to be out of office because he's borderline abusing his position.

    April 12, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  2. "Your argument is weak"

    So basically the NRA leans towards one OBVIOUS group of "Americans" who most likely will purchase more than one weapon per household/person. NRA does not represent the 2nd Amendment, which was written over 200 years ago. You cannot be that ignorant and uneducated to see this. But if this is what you believe, then good luck in the "OK CORRAL". The rest of the educated country will continue on without you.

    April 12, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  3. Anonymous

    ....the gun nor NRA didn't pull the trigger.

    April 12, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  4. LenP

    I might just have to watch this NASCAR race in a protest of emotionally challenged senators.

    April 12, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  5. Wake up People!

    I'm pretty much in agreement with Nate. Except as much as I sometimes want to watch NASCAR, I can't deal with the necks. Between having to see that offensive confederate flag flying and knowing how so many of the fans hate people that look like myself, I don't watch it. I love fast cars and racing. I always have. I was one of the few girls of my generation that would rather play with the Hot Wheels sets instead of dolls.

    So no, I can't agree with the Senator. IMO, this suggestion just plays right into the hands of the RWNJ's that swear the filthy " libruls" are going to take away all of their rights. First their guns, now their right to free speech.

    April 12, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  6. Snoopz

    Great.. Chris Murphy is all for censorship.. that should help with his reelection.

    April 12, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  7. Real american

    Just another case of an overreaching politician who somehow thinks he has he right or thearrogance to tell private business what they should do...

    April 12, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  8. Lynda/Minnesota

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

    Wasn't it LaPierre himself who was crying about limiting video games and other such stuff as a deterrent to gun violence ... the gun itself not being the cause of the killing of innocent victims ... or some other nonsense?

    Strangely enough, the only people supporting gun manufacturing lobbying right now ARE the NRA membership.

    April 12, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  9. amazed@the duplicitousness

    DJ Reality wote:

    "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."

    Really????? So is the United Auto Workers Union (UAW) so I guess you will never watch another NASCAR race again huh?

    April 12, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  10. Mike

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

    "What goes around comes around," is the phrase you're looking for. And how does that apply to the NRA?

    April 12, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  11. Lamanzo

    Nascar's decision to allow NRA to sponsor a race and whether that's a right or wrong move lies on them. It's not Fox's problem nor the fans who just want to watch a race. This is stupid of the Senator. It could only be Fox's problem if it was worse, like the "Drug Lord 500" or something. Is the NRA controversial, sure. But it's not like they are some illegal organization.

    April 12, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  12. Snoopz

    The outcome? The race will be broadcast with the NRA as sponsor. Censorship will not happen.

    April 12, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  13. jim

    Cars driving around in circles, boy it's going to be hard to sit this one out.

    April 12, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  14. Mike

    While I agree that there is no chance that the race wont be aired, and likely many contracts that take the decision away from anyone at Fox; some of the criticism of the request ignores that Murphy represents the state where the tragedy struck. Im sure that if it happened in your backyard the opinions would change. With that being said, can posters giveup on the NRA is protecting our rights garbage? The NRA is out to make money for the gun manufacturers. Period. In case people forgot, there is a clause in the amendment that says arms should be well regulated. A crazy person getting caught by a background check is not the end of the republic but the saving of lives. If you are law abiding, you will pass the background check and get your gun.

    April 12, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  15. Super8man

    The NRA is to Newtown as
    Ryder Rental Van was in OKC and
    American Airlines on Sept 11th

    Quit blaming throwing the blame on others and take a look at the real problem. Parents take 10 mins out of your busy day complaining about others and learn who your kids are and raise them properly.

    April 12, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  16. rad666

    Umm now we're heading towards government controlled TV, great...............You know who else believed in censorship right..........

    April 12, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  17. Jim

    never fails....The far left AND the far right for that matter, will always be attempting to impose their will on everyone else.

    25 years ago, they were called crackpots and asked to kindly sit down so the adults could speak.
    Nowadays though, ...everyones arguments are considered legitmate....
    We may be a nation with no common compass now, but we're soo much more politically correct....

    ...Not a good trade-off I'd say.

    April 12, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  18. Joe

    If people do not want this race on tv due to ties to guns. I want every tv show and movie removed from tv and theater that contains a gun in it.

    April 12, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  19. Like a BOSS

    Cars N Guns! whats not to like about this??

    April 12, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  20. SPOT

    Cheers, to all who love the race! To bad the 26 killed won't be watching from Sandy Hook. Good work NRA!

    April 12, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  21. amazed@the duplicitousness

    Why was there no big media blitz or mention by some lame politician when Michael Waltrip raced a special car in the Daytona 500 with the number "26" and the Newtown school colors? It also had a charity for the victims on the car.....

    Did all of you who are complaining, insulting NASCAR supporting censorship, hear about that?........Probably not.....

    April 12, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  22. Nicholas Smith

    Hard to believe that a bunch of voters put this sociopath into office. As Bugs Bunny used to say, "What a maroon!"

    April 12, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  23. Common Sense

    So much for the 1rst and 2nd amendment

    April 12, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  24. rs

    I am a big NASCAR fan- been to PIR in Phoenix, Love the March race in Vegas. I won't attend nor watch an NRA-sponsored event any more than I'd watch one sponsored by Al Queda.

    April 12, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  25. Deac

    I wasn't planning on watching, but I will now

    April 12, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
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