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. Christopher Cooper

    Mr. Murphy, your are not our father or mother, who are you to tell us what we should be able to watch and how we should live our lives. As Americans we have a constitutional right to bear arms, for enemies foreign and domestic. Please do your job and balence the budget like the rest of us Americans have to do every month.

    April 12, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  2. rarinmn

    No longer content with just attacking the 2nd Amendment the liberals are now attacking the 1st by promoting censorship. Like any other TV show they don't like they should just turn it off.

    However, I guess they won't be satisfied until the President declares the day of the Newtown shooting to be a recurring national day of mourning and/or a paid holiday.

    April 12, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  3. GMan

    What part of "WELL" regulated do you not understand KiddSS, Boycott of the race, stupid, but saying no regulation is norm, you're dead wrong and even the Supreme Court says otherwise....

    April 12, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  4. Karen Kinney

    Totally unnecessary. Air the race.

    April 12, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  5. wkt1186

    Why isn't M.O. telling them not to air races sponsored by alcoholic beverage companies, fast food companies, candy companies or sugary drink manufacturers? Their products kill more people than guns....

    April 12, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  6. charles bowen

    The NRA is a Terrorist Organization .They are arming Americans with leathal wepons whose only purpose iis to Overthrow our Legal, Constitutional, Democracy,. Which is more important to you , your Gun or Your Child..? The NRA and their Guns Are the enemy, an enemy we must defeat to Protect our Families....Charles Bowen Solomon Stone

    April 12, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  7. The Truth

    Does the Senator and all the supporters realize they are encouraging more mass murders? Let me make this simple for those of low intelligence. Owning and shooting guns is as American as baseball, apple pie, etc, etc; its so American we even have an ammendment guaranteeing this. So when an event triggers mass knee jerk reactions and backlash against American rights, that encourages others to do the same thing.

    This murderer's legacy is being put on a pedestal for all other nut jobs to admire. The other nuts are now thinking "look how he changed America and he will be remembered, what can I do to top that to get even more recognition?"

    The next mass murder's blood will be on the hands of those who keep this lunatic's legacy going by discriminating against legal responsible gun ownership. This is equivalent to demanding cancelation of all baseball games and demonizing baseball players and fans if someone uses a baseball bat in a murder. Interesting side note the Oklahoma City bombing killed 168 people, which included 19 children. No guns were involved and the bomb components are readily available and used for farming. Were is the huge backlash against farmers and those who use those products? Oh, and do not forget truck rental companies and patrons who rent trucks.

    April 12, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  8. TOM

    The NRA is not to fault here, its the ignorance of letting people who shouldnt be able to obtain guns get them. Yes we need better gun laws, but taking the guns from americans not gonna happen... I for one will always b able to protect my family above what the government says ...

    April 12, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  9. Cocinero2

    Hey Murph!

    I have an idea... Tell the people who don't like the sponsership " do not watch the race"... Problem solved... If no one watches the race, the companies paying for advertisements will be disappointed and not sponser the event next time.... Stop trying to dictate to the American people... We're smart enough to make our decisions without your assistance.

    April 12, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  10. Steve Short

    Today liberals want to destroy the 2nd Amendment but they are quickly gaining on trying to destroy the 1st Amendment as well (if one has the nerve to disagree with their manifesto).

    April 12, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  11. BRIT

    V_MAG. Serious? "People who support NRA kill people" and "mentally incompetent"? I am not an NRA member. I am not a republican. I usually don't comment, but this liberal mentality is certainly pushing me to become both. I do own a shotgun and occasionally hunt. Am I a killer? Last I checked, I haven't been "craving murder". Your logic (or lack there of) amazes me. It has become apparent to me the current administration's (who I quasi-supported) agenda has come through and it's at the expense of everything this country was founded for. Keep drinking the Kool Aid comrade. It's comments like yours that totally discredit what little case you have.

    April 12, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  12. Freedom Storm

    This is the "poster child" example of tyranny's "We don't need no freaking free speech".

    April 12, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  13. Disabled Veteran

    Are you kidding me? Don't watch it, Senator. Concentrate on your bribes, hush money and inside trading.

    April 12, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  14. abdulthebutcher

    Now we loose the freedom to sponsor a legal activity just because of our political beliefs. This is really bad.

    April 12, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  15. Rdon49

    Welllllllllllllll I see the demoncrats are NOT only going after the 2nd amendment but the 1st amendment as well!!!
    Sen. Chris Murphy, D <-–

    April 12, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  16. Kevin

    Wonder if the great Senator realizes that by doing this he just created more attention to the event for Mr. Murdoch. Higher rating = more money. Had the Senator just kept his mouth shut, no one would have ever known and it would have been a non-issue.

    April 12, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  17. cc

    It's guys like Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, that is chipping away our freedom a little at a time. This is why our country is in such a mess. We have good for nothing politicians telling us what we can and can't do. Maybe the dear Senator should worry more about our debt, our high unemployment, our soldiers getting killed in a country that hates us or maybe getting to the bottom of Benghazi and the murder of the Americans that took place. What a weak Senator Connecticut has.

    April 12, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  18. Dr Tom

    @ Charles Bowen – Well said. I would only add that the NRA membership does not support their leadership's policies and should either throw them out or leave and form a new organization.

    April 12, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  19. goingsearching

    My advice to you Senator is "Don't Mess With Texas"

    April 12, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  20. Andrew

    The "well regulated" part refers to militias. Those are already well regulated. There is a period after that sentence which is a separate thought from the second part of the amendment which states that the right of the people to keep and bare arms shall not be infringed. Amendments can have different things mentioned in them. Like the 6th amendment which guarantees your right to an attorney and speedy trial in a criminal trial.

    April 12, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  21. Rondmcd

    Now they are going after the NASCAR nation – good luck fighting the NRA and the NASCAR fans. Just how out of touch do you have to be with the country?

    April 12, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  22. bbrown

    Wait I thought this was just about scary assault weapons? Are they worried about seeing revolvers awarded to the winner of the race too?

    April 12, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  23. TruePatriots

    The gun nuts aren't the only ones with voices. Don't be afraid, you have a voice, too. The NRA is quite content to make money off of the slaughter of our loved ones. They're doing their best to drum up business for gun manufacturers, all the while hiding behind the second amendment. No more excuses, BOYCOTT THE NRA!

    April 12, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  24. Rick G

    Hold on, this article says he said it was inappropriate in the immediate wake of the Newtown shootings. Dude, look at your calender. This is NOT the immediate wake, it has been 5 months. Wake up and learn to move on. How long are these democrat cry babies gonna milk this Newtown cow before it dies? News for these idiots, the NRA does NOT condone nor does it support criminal activity. Why do these morons not seem to get that? Democrats,,, idiots.. sorry to say.

    April 12, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  25. Mainscribe

    Get this Communist Democrat out of our lives...I am so sick of politicians trying to get rid of my freedoms....

    April 12, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
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