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

    Super8man

    The NRA is to Newtown as
    Ryder Rental Van was in OKC and
    American Airlines on Sept 11th
    __________________
    So you can't tell the difference between the one that sponsors gun terrorism , and the two that were used by terrorists?

    April 12, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  2. Chad

    How about freedom of speech?

    April 12, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  3. MoronicRepublican

    Is anyone surprised? Things like the NRA happen when every moron is given the same power as every genius. Want to fix this country? Here's how:
    Step #1: Limit the right to vote to people of a certain IQ level.
    Step #2: You're done.

    April 12, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  4. David

    Allowing the NRA to sponsor is a stupid move by NASCAR and Texas Motor speedway, and here is way. Yes, a significant portion of the NASCAR male audience supports guns, and some may carry NRA cards, great. Problem is, NASCAR as increased and become dependent on their newer demographic which, believe it or not, isn't necessarily lazy white conservatives... shocker I know. Now NASCAR portrays a stance on an issue approximately 90% of Americans don't agree with. Oh well, guess I'm not the marketing genius here, NASCAR must think the fans they lose were not worth the money, even though they all live in major cities and make well above the national median average.

    April 12, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  5. Matt

    Chad

    How about freedom of speech?
    -----
    Yep. The senator has it too. You're absolutely right.

    April 12, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  6. jason

    "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..."

    Thank goodness we don't have to worry about the republicans doing something crazy like this. They have the intelligence and humility to only involve themselves in personal issues that have no effect on other people's lives. These dems trying to lower the number of guns on the streets and trying to pry into our backgrounds are unconscienable. Where do they get off trying to tell us that legislation like this affects more than the "owners" of the guns.

    April 12, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  7. Lou

    Freedom of speech includes the RIGHT to not speak at all.

    April 12, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  8. James PDX

    The minute you take away the 1st amendment rights from crappy people is the minute when we lose track of who they are and end up getting blindsided. Let the crappy people out themselves. Consider it a public service.

    April 12, 2013 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  9. Founder

    I love how people play the "education" card when speaking of people who own firearms or support their legal use, like "weak' does. Wow, such anger. Stay away from firearms, sharp objects and matches there, dude, you seem to have some serious delusions about your own self-worth and might be a threat to others.

    April 12, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  10. Roy

    Only thing you anti-gun fool's are doing is hurting law obeying people. You anti-gun idiots cry no guns but you support war how stupid

    April 12, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  11. Jerry

    You know, I am all for sensitivity and so on but don't these Senators and Washington have anything better to do than worry about PC related nonsense? FIX THE COUNTRY you doofuses. Seriously. There are countless problems in this country and we are worrying about a car race? Really? Do what you were elected to do. I could care less what they call the race, just do your jobs. Political grandstanding while nothing gets done in Washington is ridiculous. Oh and there is some nonsense with some psycho in North Korea that could care less if a nascar race is run or not. Get a clue.

    April 12, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  12. Russ

    NASCAR says they want to spread into the northern states. This race, with shooting guns, is going to doom that effort.

    April 12, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  13. Cowboy T

    Well, the Senator has the 1st Amendment right to ask for that, as long as he doesn't try to mandate what he's asking for. Likewise, NASCAR and News Corp. have the 1st Amendment right to broadcast the race. The 1st Amendment exists precisely to protect freedom of expression even if someone doesn't like the message, as long as you don't step on the rights of others to do likewise. That's part of America.

    April 12, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  14. mike

    The genocide of American Citizens rights has begun by radical Untied States Government that is currently standing in the way of meaningful progress on this issue.

    April 12, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  15. Bugl3t

    Who do you think they count on to vote in the nutjobs that fear-monger FOR the NRA? Ever seen a survey by the right? One of the questions they use to tell whether you are "right" or "left" is whether you watch NASCAR races. True... I've seen at least 5 surveys that did that, regardless of the issue involved (mostly politics).

    April 12, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  16. Matt

    Roy

    Only thing you anti-gun fool's are doing is hurting law obeying people. You anti-gun idiots cry no guns but you support war how stupid
    ---
    Afraid I don't. The only difference between a mass murderer and a soldier is a uniform. Arrest them all I say.

    April 12, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  17. Nick Shafer

    Matt
    Nobody is trying to censor the Senator therefore the senator should extend the same courtesy.

    April 12, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  18. amazed@the duplicitousness

    Russ wrote:

    "NASCAR says they want to spread into the northern states. This race, with shooting guns, is going to doom that effort."

    Really???? I live here in good old NYC and I know 20 people (family,friends,coworkers,neighbors) that are NASCAR fans.

    April 12, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  19. SMITVICT

    Another stupid liberal northeast politician. Now how about registering the mentally ill so they show up in background checks.

    April 12, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  20. Greg

    What a jerk. I think we should outlaw knives in the wake of the community college attack in TX. The mainstream media isn't talking about a knife attack because it derails the attack on guns. Why don't we talk about the real problem, mental health. Why are we not talking about the cause of the problem. The Democrats want to outlaw all guns, but that won't help until we address the root of the problem.

    April 12, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  21. JW

    First the second amendment now the first amendment is under attack!!!

    They won't stop until we are back to the slave era like the Egyptians.

    April 12, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  22. Matt

    Nick Shafer

    Matt
    Nobody is trying to censor the Senator therefore the senator should extend the same courtesy.
    ---

    The senator isn't trying to censor anyone either. He's stating his opinion and nothing more. I see no legislation stating the NRA can't sponsor the race so unfortunately your argument has absolutely no merit. Thanks for your time.

    April 12, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  23. walkshaunt

    Enforce the already-on-the-books gun laws and then talk to me about gun control? The criminals will not be worrying about gun registration or magazine limits.

    April 12, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  24. Will_NOT_Give_My_Rights_Away

    It's nice to see a bunch of people who are in a minority once again trying to dictate to the majority of NASCAR fans as to what or who sponsors a race. You folks should check what is called demographics of the area where the races are held. Notice that most of the areas are way outside major city's, yup away from the the morons who believe that they are correct in thinking they know more than the 2 million plus gun owners who watch the races and the thousands of NASCAR fans who have guns.

    April 12, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  25. Matt

    Greg

    What a jerk. I think we should outlaw knives in the wake of the community college attack in TX. The mainstream media isn't talking about a knife attack because it derails the attack on guns. Why don't we talk about the real problem, mental health. Why are we not talking about the cause of the problem. The Democrats want to outlaw all guns, but that won't help until we address the root of the problem.
    -–

    Addressing the problem would mean overhauling the our medical system which is something the Republicans have also been opposed to for virtually ever. You can't have it both ways.

    April 12, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
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