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. Greg

    Everyone needs to look at the statistics. Less than 5% of gun violence is from guns purshased legally. Liberals don't look or care about the truth. We should also outlaw saws in wake of the guy who tried to cut off his arms in CA. Mental health issue again.

    April 12, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  2. tony

    Democrat senator is a looser! millions want this race and we will watch it if you don't like it change the channel! don't infringe on my liberties and right

    April 12, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  3. Matt

    My mistake that's actually .6% They are obviously the majority now.

    April 12, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  4. Matt from CT

    I haven't watched NASCAR in years. It looks like I might tune in just to P.O. Murphy.

    April 12, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  5. Joey 57

    The Senator needs to leave the office an work for cnn, replace him!!!

    April 12, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  6. Rodney

    Would the senator feel the same if Planned Parenthood sponsored a race? Would he stand up for those who do not believe in abortion?

    April 12, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  7. Too Much

    Dude.....you're asking the owner of FOX to not air a NRA sponsored race???? Seriously? You chances of success are less than me winning the next powerball....and I'm not playing.

    April 12, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  8. Matt

    Needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Sorry gun owners. Spock is never wrong. Logic and all that.

    April 12, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  9. Krhodes

    Typical democrat...silence the opposition.

    April 12, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  10. BeverlyNC

    As far as I am concerned the NRA is now a domestic terrorist organization. They threaten members of Congress...some even with death threats (several now have 24 hour security). They bully. They lie about the facts. They talk of needing guns to overthrow a tryannical government. They are a real danger to free speech and the safety of all Americans with their irrational view of guns. I find them both scary and dangerous.
    No we should not support or participate in anything sponsored or supported by the NRA – whether it is NASCAR races or members of Congress who take their money and vote against the best interests of the People.

    April 12, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  11. Spence

    Welcome to Connecticut where Communism and an Oppressive Government are alive and well. I am not a fan of Nascar but I am a fan of government getting it's ugly fingers off the American People as much as possible!

    April 12, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  12. wireknob

    If some of these gun control advocates substituted almost any other group in their attitudes towards "gun owners" they would be appalled by their bigotry against that group.

    April 12, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  13. Dave

    Brilliant decision! NASCAR is in a downward spiral and this move just accelerates that spiral. The NRA is desperate to get it's bullying message out and they are quite happy to pay big bucks to do this.

    April 12, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  14. John john the pipers son

    Liberals don't enjoy watching people going in circles in fact they avoid that kind of nonsense.

    April 12, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  15. Nick Shafer

    Matt
    The senator is calling for the airing network not to show the event to the public. This is an elected official in a position of power which puts him in the public sector payed by the taxpayer. The NRA and FOX are privately held entities using their own money to exercise their rights. Regardless of your ideology the Senator is still calling for censorship so unfortunately YOUR argument has absolutely no merit and I will not thank you for your time. You are here on your own behalf.

    April 12, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  16. USA4EVER

    What a rediculious request. We all agree that Newtown was one of the worst events in US history. I am sure the NRA leadership feels the same. Get to the issue. That guy was a nut. Always going to be nuts. Add protection to your schools Mr. Murphy.

    April 12, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  17. Matt

    John john the pipers son

    Liberals don't enjoy watching people going in circles in fact they avoid that kind of nonsense.
    ----
    Pretty much the reason I don't subscribe to religion.

    April 12, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  18. sirise

    Well well well all those "gun nuts" who said they will start with the 2nd and move on to the others don't look so wrong now do they? Seems like the 1st is the next on the chopping block. Good luck resisting unarmed.

    April 12, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  19. Clint

    This is a bit rediculous. Cars kill many more people than these tragic public shootings. So lets ban all car racing on tv so people don't have to be reminded of their loses. These politicians need to stop using the attention that these tragic events receive to push their agendas.

    April 12, 2013 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  20. Les

    "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

    As opposed to what, Senator? The national attention you and the President have been trying to give to the other side of this heated debate? What you're really saying is that you want to get your political agenda into the media unopposed.

    April 12, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  21. bigbrother

    This Senator and those that follow his ideology are more dangerous to society than all the illigal guns in the United States. They are attempting to control free market commerce and violatre the civil freedoms ofcommunication, speech, right to bear arms and create policies based on a dictatorship instead of democracy. In fact this Senator shouldbe charged with treason against the people of the United

    April 12, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  22. Earl

    This man needs to chill. Law abiding gun owners arn't the problem. The laws they are proposing are all in place now but Washington chooses to not enforce them. What about Fast And Furious? That was a gun deal condoned by our so called government. Maybe we should ban the political news from being broadcast.

    April 12, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  23. Cogito

    Chris Murphy is a self-serving, self-righteous piece of dung that doesn't care what his constituents think. I know, I am one, and after contacting his office no less than half-dozen times over the last three years, I have yet to receive a single response from him or anyone in his office.
    So, WHO CARES WHAT HE THINKS?!?!

    April 12, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  24. Sam

    Yeah right...the race is taking place in one of the most gun frendly states there is and some liberal gluteal wipe from the northeast wants to dictate HIS policy to OUR state. Not ONLY are we going to go ahead with this but we will be happy to take your gun manufacturing from you.

    April 12, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  25. Name

    Until we get the disturbed people in hopitals, we wont stop the killings. Law abiding gun owners aren't the problem, its the people who break the laws to obtain guns that are the problem.
    The race should be held and Fox should honor its contract, if the great senator from CT would like to pay the penality of breaking the contract out of his own pocket. If he is so concern, then he should be willing to pay the price, why should Fox pay the pentality?
    People like him have tried to silence Fox for years and here is another attempt.

    April 12, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
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