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. Michael Alexander

    Can we say "censorship"? This Senator needs to not be involved in politics EVER. You want to ensure that a particular race doesn't get broadcast because of the sponsor? And to top it off, the sponsor hasn't done anything wrong. "In the wake of Newtown" hellooooooooooo? is any body home?????? The NRA had nothing to do with Newtown, or any other shooting of the sort. The NRA and it's members are the only one using firearms properly (for the most part). This is total feces.

    April 12, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  2. philabias

    working to kill your 2nd ammendment rightrs and trys to kill ypour 1st ammendment rights, yep he's a dem. they are the most unamerican unlawful unintellegent trash in america. and this is just more proof even though there millions of examples. how did america becom so stupid. we are almost dead last in international grad testing. just more and more proof of our decline and fall. no democracy has lasted more then 240 years. so lets see here 1776 to 2013= 237
    3 years at the most. but no one believe we will make it trhat far. seems things do repeat. it is always the have nots voteing for only those who bribe them with there own tax money and bankruptsy follows soon after . thats how it always happened, oh and justy so you know the leaders in the last go aralways the biggest spenders and squnderer. behold the lord god obamanation. oh and he is just more proof of failure

    April 12, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  3. Larry

    Moving from the 2a to the 1st A. Who would have thought it would happen that fast ???

    April 12, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  4. Ed T

    It appears the senator is trampling on the freedom of speech at this point. NRA paid to broadcast the race and has the right to express its opinions. If the race is cancelled, what is next for censorship?

    April 12, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  5. amazed@the duplicitousness

    Bman said:

    "I'd like to see the winners accept the pistol and then promptly dissassemble, dropping the parts into the dust, so they can grind the parts into the dust with their big old cowboy boots.No Nascar winner should need a gun to defend themselves, otherwise they'd be disrespecting their own reflexes"
    -----------------------------

    The race is in Texas...(ya know cowboys and stuff)...get it? That is why they give the winner a cowboy hat and two six shooters. The trophy is Sonoma has a wine bottle in it (wine country get it?)

    The winners don't need the guns to defend themselves....it is just the trophy they were given.

    April 12, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  6. sonnie3

    The lefties are really in a tizzy on this one.

    April 12, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  7. TomGI

    I try to watch NASCAR races but I'll miss this one for political reasons.

    April 12, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  8. I think therefore I am

    rs- so how did they get this 90%? Anti gun people are falling all over themselves about this figure but where did it come from? Did they stand outside a anti gun rally? What question(s) were asked? or did it come about as usual with anti gun folks. Lets just make it up and try and force everyone to believe it. I find it exceptionally difficult to believe 90% of my fellow Americans agreeing on anything. And I believe your dismissal of "crazy people with guns (the NRA)" is pretty much the same as Romney's dismissal of the 47%. We are still Americans and deserve to be heard.

    April 12, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  9. Cindy

    bman-that won't happen, dream on!!! The more they tell us we can't do this we can't do that the more we will. If they would just shut up................dream on cindy.................

    April 12, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  10. GLK20c

    Air the race. Send money to NRA ILA. Defeat CNN's gun control initiatives.

    April 12, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  11. Larry L

    @CP North carolina

    Amazing how stupid politicians can be,Nascar is KING.
    ===============================
    NASCAR is King – but only in places where tatoos are purchased rather than dental work, where diabetes therapy is the official state exercise, where smoking is still cool, where people fail to make the connection between the beer and the Clydesdales, and where the population actually believes Fox News to be fair and balanced. Ahhh... the red states.

    April 12, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  12. lottie

    if people want to watch cars go round and round for hours on end they should be allowed. Right? so people that believe in birth control or same sex marriage or separation of church and state should be afforded the same rights. 1st amendment rights that is.

    April 12, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  13. Tom

    So much for tolerance for those with whom you disagree Senator Murphy.

    April 12, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  14. Tarmac

    I used to watch NASCAR with my dad in the eighties. Now it's just a circus (and ad haven) for lower-functioning Americans. I guess there's an audience that needs to be entertained when the Kardashians are too high-brow for people. I don't oppose people with guns. I just think the NRA is of the same breed of people who watch NASCAR.

    April 12, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  15. jr, hughes

    I got a 12th grade education and common sence. These senators are college eduicated and no common sence.I know that if a person is going to kill someone there is no law that is going to stop him or her.If law stops crime than let us pass more laws on drugs,rape,drunk driving then we could live in peace

    April 12, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  16. Jody Ashley

    I am from Texas and I am proud to have the NRA sponsor our race. I can assure you the majority of Nascar fans are equally proud. It is a perfect match. Calling the NRA radical and stopping "meaningful progress" is absurd. Gun laws will stop crime and senseless killings just like the War on Drugs stopped drug usage...oh wait!!

    April 12, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  17. sonnie3

    First a parade of little school kids
    Next parent coming on Air Force One
    Now Rupert with a silly remark
    Boy these liberal thinking politicians are stooping in low places with low tactics to due Harm to the 2nd Amendment.

    April 12, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  18. pragmatic

    Chris Murphy: Have you thought about all the other sponsors and the people they have diectly killed? I am talking about tobacco companies. The NRA kills no one. It is an organization of responsible gun owners who promote gun SAFETY. Tell me when a tobacco company ever did that. Beer producers? Drunk driving has killed more people than guns in America ever have. They are sponsors too. If you had your way the only sponsors would be office supply and grocery stores. I would argue that the ATF should be a convenience store and not a government bureau. Its all about freedom of speech. Your argument against the NRA flies in the face of 2 constitutional amendments. And you pledged to defend the US Consititution? You should be impeached for failure to defend.

    April 12, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  19. lB Colorado

    So much for any type of freedom – hang on America, this is going to get rough.

    April 12, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  20. DC

    The NRA has become a paranoid, delusional organization with thousands of people LEAVING because of its radicalism. I will NOT watch or record this race, as much as I love races at TMS. NASCAR is making a foolish choice by accepting the NRA's sponsorship of this race. Does it appeal to their base? Yes. But NASCAR has been trying to expand its appeal. This is doing the opposite. Given what's been going on in this country lately, I find it absolutely offensive they'd allow this to go on.

    April 12, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  21. Larry in CO

    I don't care much for the NRA and although I like almost any type of racing, NASCAR isn't at the top of my list, but I will go out of my way to watch this one. People like Murphy should be charged with treason and held at GITMO untill there is time for a trial. They delude themselve claiming to be liberal. I am a liberal and the founding fathers were liberal. People like Murphy are modern day Tories (those were the people who wanted to stay the course with mother England). Although there are a lot of modern day people who have hijacked the liberal name, there is nothing liberal about taking peoples freedom, whether it's the right to bear arms or freedom of speech. Murphy and his kind should have Tory tatooed on their forehead.

    April 12, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  22. colin in Florida

    Well, this just proves that Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, is an idiot.

    Last time I checked, this week another crazy person attacked 14 people, this time with a knife.
    Last time I checked, only people with a history of mental illness have committed these mass murders.

    Therefore, logically, we should prevent people with a history of mental illness from obtaining access to anything more dangerous than a SPORK. Personally, I would include the Senator in this list-he obviously has lost his ability to reason logically.

    April 12, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  23. Janet

    Maybe the NRA can have preschoolers shoot out the NASCAR tires at the end of the race? That way they won't be accidentally shooting and killing innocent people as two preschoolers did this past week. By the way, I am a gun owner but I fully support common sense gun laws. I had to pass a background check but then it never occured to me to just buy a gun at a gun show or over the internet with no background check whatsoever. As far as the 1st amendment? Bush and Cheney killed that years ago with the "patriot act" and "free speech zones" – where were the gunslingers then?

    April 12, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  24. Bob M.

    So it's alright for makers of alcohol products ( Bud, Miller, Crown Royal etc.. ) who's products kill tens of thousands of people each year due to fatal drunk driving accidents and health issues to sponsor sporting events but not a group that's fighting for my Constitutional rights ! Wow I'm missing something here.

    April 12, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  25. rapierpoint

    I guess if the President were to pass away, Murphy would ask the ceremonies to not be televised since the President is a major face on one side of this debate and it ends in a rifle salute.

    April 12, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
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