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. Bryan

    See... Wing-nut liberals forced the Tobacco Industry out of NASCAR sponsorship and left an advertising void for the NRA to fill. Although, if I were an NRA member, I'd be a little upset that my dues were going to this advertising initiative. Next they'll be buying air at Super Bowl half-time. Generally speaking, sports are sponsored by corporations that want to sell more of their product by tying their brand name to the athlete or event. But the NRA isn't a manufacturer (like, say Nike, or Pepsi), so what then ARE they selling? Remember folks, this county isn't about black or white; red or blue; it's always been about the "green."

    April 12, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  2. Tom Tsagaan Nahoi

    Are you, or have you ever been a member of the NRA? The new McCartyism

    April 12, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  3. dhondi

    I think there may be some sort of amendment associated with this.

    April 12, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  4. Libdumb

    Senator you fit right in with N. Korea. Kim has a staff position for you.

    April 12, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  5. Jimmy Joe Jim ....

    I will be going two the race. Me and my sun Billy Bob will drink lots of beer and bring are guns and shoot them in the air like we do evry yeer. And this race is by the NRA. Yeehaw! Then on the way back to the moble home we shoot stray dogs. 1 point for body shots and 2 for the hed (I always win.). I cant wate. Weer gonna have so much fun. Go # 24.

    April 12, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  6. Justin

    I think it is time to do extensive background checks including the releasing of all grades and classes taken by these idiots voted into office like Senator Murdock. So tired of the progressive movement running this country. When are people going to wake up and take back their country before it's too late. Everyone in Washington is a rich elitest in for office for their own agrendas not those who elected them.

    April 12, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  7. rock woman

    @ Bk

    The government is not telling the tv station anything. One senator is asking that station for something. He's exercising his right to free speech.

    April 12, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  8. Wally

    Now that is a tacky event.

    April 12, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  9. 10ring

    I just donated extra money to the NRA because of this story! This guy is really an elected official? Who voted this idiot in? If he wants to see a "radical organization that is currently standing in the way of meaningful progress" on the gun issue, maybe he should take a good look at the Democratic Party rather than the NRA.

    April 12, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  10. JakeF

    Why not go back to allowing tobacco companies the opportunity to sponsor races?

    April 12, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  11. tibs

    "End the war on drugs and there will be, on average, 10,000 fewer homicides per year"

    -Milton Friedman

    April 12, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  12. Name

    When are the "lawmaker's" going to get it? If someone commits a crime, weapon involved or not, they apparently didn't care about the law! With that being said, why impose more, restrictive laws for the law abiding citizens, who have demonstrated we can adhere to the existing laws. Yes this statement has an air of redundancy, however, the lawmakers' are on the wrong track!

    April 12, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  13. 10ring

    Does ths mean that Rick Warren isn't going to give the drivers' prayer before the race begins?

    April 12, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  14. Tuza Baap

    NRA should be declared as terrorist organization. If they form that in any other industrialized and civilized nation, they could have been banned. The only country they can have their roots are Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan and may be Iraq.

    April 12, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  15. PeteH

    Let me get this straight; We should boycott a race sponsored by the NRA, but should flock to races sponsored by Budweiser and Marlboro. God knows; alcohol and cigarettes don't kill people; guns do...

    April 12, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    Oh brother. Why is it inappropriate? The NRA had nothing to do with the Newtown massacre.

    April 12, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  17. ken b

    Fire blanks from a gun after the race. What makes this different than any night on TV when people are being shot on these crime shows? Oh and where was all these crying liberals when NRA sponsored the Nationwide race last year ? All liberals should be made to live in Chicago for a year and see if they still want to grab guns . The lawmakers and cops don't have the balls to go into the cities and clean up the real gun crimes or the borders .

    April 12, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  18. Hogan's Goat

    "Let every Connecticut job that is related to the gun industry, gun hobby, gun collector be killed off " Are you trying to admit that every gun-related job in that state is run by mentally-unstable individuals who would be barred from owning guns? I think one or two people would still have guns, even in Connecticut. And obviously, so obviously that it is unmissable, for the exact reasons you just said, nobody wants to ban or confiscate guns. You are being fed a big bait of paranoia, so big that you will even believe there is such a thing as a black man who wants to ban guns. As if!

    April 12, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  19. Hogan's Goat

    "When are people going to wake up and take back their country before it's too late. "

    Yeah, because that doesn't sound crazy or anything.

    April 12, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  20. Phil

    Oh no...they're going to shoot guns on live TV. Run, protect the children.

    Just get over it. It's not anything to worry about.

    DHS and TSA were created in response to September 11, 2001. What has that gotten us? Hundreds of billions more in debt and nothing to show for it.

    These new laws will do nothing. They can't even enforce the ones they currently have.

    April 12, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  21. Tuza Baap

    Why don't we send all the crazy nuts including rank and file of NRA who cherish using military style weapons to fight in Afghanistan and Pakistan. These nuts will then have hands on experience using these weapons.

    April 12, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  22. Aman

    Perhaps we can ask TNT or Fox television network not to broadcast Cola-cola 600 because soda does contribute obesity and we have an obesity epidemic!

    Hey Senators, get a life!

    April 12, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  23. PersianGino

    Interesting how he doesn't want this race broadcast, but in the same breath, his party-mates have the victims of gun-violence at political signings as mascots.

    April 12, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  24. Greg

    Bet he would be all for the, "Coat Hanger Abortion 500".

    April 12, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  25. Edmund Fitz

    I highly doubt many in Connecticut are going to watch that sort of nonsense anyway.

    April 12, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
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