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. GatorDude

    NASCAR sponsorship of a race is doubleplus ungood. It will get badthink out in front of the public and may incite thoughtcrime. All mention of the NRA, guns, and firearms must be erased from the public consciousness. We should also erase all mention of guns from history books, magazines, and newspapers. It is for the good of the people. Let us post Wayne LaPierre's picture for 3 minutes of hate!

    April 12, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  2. Dupe

    You have to be kidding me! He has got a really big problem with what he spends his time on! The nation is spending a good amount of time on the issues of what happened at Newtown. I support that, but this is over the top and is soooooo typical of what the left represents. Senator, spend you precious time on things that are not already being addressed or let someone else do what is really necessary in healing and providing the tools to avoid a Newtown tragedy from happening again! Cancelling a Nascar race is just a lame way of saying look what I am doing. Step down or step!

    April 12, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  3. Lawless4U

    Bryan, you have an interesting take on history.

    Winston was the series sponsor, that position is now filled by Sprint (formerly Nextel). The NRA would only be sponsoring a single race, much like Coca Cola, NAPA and numerous others do.

    You are confused......but then again so are most republicans.

    April 12, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  4. ColoradoPhil

    If you can't make a more compelling argument than the opposition, demonize them. The tactics of the weak minded.

    April 12, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  5. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    That's ok! let them run their race and poke at the families of the victims of gun violence in this country. As they say, what goes around, comes around. The NRA and their supporters would soon get their judgement day.

    April 12, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  6. sts_121@hotmail.com

    I'm no fan of the NRA but I don't really care if they are sponsoring the race. And it's not like they're gonna give the driver loaded revolvers to start shooting off right there in victory lane.

    April 12, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  7. Larry in Houston

    this article just shows you that people like La Pierre & his cronies are only interested in their bottom line. If you think that they give a hoot about anything else, I've got a huge swamp land in Arizona that I will sell you.

    April 12, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  8. bill of rights

    It starts with the 2nd amendment now they want to take away our 1st amendment rights as well. If you don't like it, dont watch it.

    April 12, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  9. Paris Miller

    Just a tempest in a tea party pot :-) All UNs don't get it :-( As long as they keep us stirred up then we can't follow what's really going on :-( Keep us distracted and no will notice the pick pocket in our pocket ?

    April 12, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  10. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    That would be the prefect time for a tornado or earthquake!

    April 12, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  11. Travis

    Anyone that agrees with not showing the race is borderline retarded.

    Seriously, it is America, the land of the free so Texas Motor Speedway choosing NRA to sponser their event is thier god given right.

    If you don't like it, don't watch the race! I hear rappers talking about gang banging and killing but you guys still buy their CD's, I don't agree so I don't listen to it.

    PEOPLE NEED TO GROW UP!

    April 12, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  12. Bill

    It is amazing to me how we have so many right wing dumb rednecks in my state of Texas that would allow the NRA to do such a thing. First dubya, then rick perry, and now this. We are really going to have to fight to take this state back from the GOP/Tea Party fools before they force Texas to secede from the Union and turn us into Syria.

    April 12, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  13. TCosta

    How about boycotting anything made or produced in Connecticut? Those would include the following from Connecticut:
    timber
    paper
    tobacco
    shell fish

    And companies like:
    GE/Unison, United Technologies/ Pratt & Whitney, Stanley Bostich and Coach.

    Ridiculous?

    April 12, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  14. Paris Miller

    The NEWS is the greatest form of Propaganda :-) When you believe it :-) Why waste our time on simple minded BS ?

    April 12, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  15. BSH

    Why bother with freedom of speech? Throw out the whole bill of rights while you're at it, Dems.

    April 12, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  16. Todd

    Why do people think the decision to not strengthen the brand of a decent organization that is currently led by vile, greedy and indecent men (LaPierre et al) is somehow an infringement of free speech or some un-American form of censorship. Does Fox News not have the right to have free expression? As a representative of a system of free press, does their freedom somehow disavow them of the opportunity to express their own opinion? And if they did so, is there any man alive that is familiar with this broadcast news network that believes for one second that it would be the first time they did so?

    April 12, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  17. spudnik56

    I don't agree with the NRA but free speech is free speech...

    April 12, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  18. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    No, the NRA had nothing to do with the Sandy Hook tragedy! But what the NRA is doing is glorifying the tragedy and poking at the families of the Sandy Hook victims. Let's face it, if there was no Sandy Hook tragedy, there would be no NRA-Nascar event. let's pray and hope the same faith await the NRA and their supporters!

    April 12, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  19. solesuvivor

    Does this mean the drivers can shoot at each other as they race around the track???!!!

    April 12, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  20. Patriotic Pete

    Stop using these children as pawns to push an agenda. It's sick... Let them rest. I've owned firearms since I was 8 years old....never have I came home to find one of my guns has loaded itself, aimed and pulled it's own trigger at a person. If I crash a truck into a crowd of people, do we blame GM? and ask that they no longer have television commercials?

    April 12, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  21. Bart

    I'm a race fan, and will not be watching this one because of the NRA sponsorship.

    April 12, 2013 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  22. Mike M

    Yeah.... like NACSAR's gonna listen to him.

    April 12, 2013 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  23. RickV

    Congressmen at work should all be required to wear suits like the NASCAR drivers, with all their sponsors names clearly visible. This would add a great deal to CSPAN programming, and a the transparency would be a pleasant change.

    April 12, 2013 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  24. v_mag

    Well, my sides are splitting from reading a ton of comments from the Moe, Larry and Curly posted here. Many of them seemed to have never used a keyboard before and nearly all of them must have failed English grammar class. But that just helps round out the general picture of slobbering, murder weapon toting, Bud-drinking, lead-footed monster truck driving idiots who took the time to comment on a story none of them have read or comprehended.

    It's been a pleasure, nitwits, but now I've got more interesting stuff to do. Like read a book. You should try it sometime, Curly-Joe.

    April 12, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  25. Phil

    Trying to reason with individuals who enjoy watching cars go round and round in a circle for 500 miles, is an exercise in futility. They are not the sharpest tools in the shed, from what I've witnessed.

    April 12, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
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