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. JeffS

    Stop treating the NRA like they want carnage in this country. It is evident that they want the current laws enforced to see if any improvements can be made before we waste time creating more that won't be enforced. That is a pretty simple fact that people don't seem to understand. We don't have a gun problem, we have a societal responsibility problem. Guns have been around and will continue to be around. Education and a cohesive loving family are the answers. We already ban illegal drugs and a large part of gun violence stems from drug activity. So, where is the logic in passing more laws? The ones on the books don't seem to be working.

    April 12, 2013 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  2. Mr. Roberts

    As soon as Connecticut cancels hunting season.
    Oh, that's right – they make too much money on licenses.

    April 12, 2013 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  3. jsmoulder

    NASCAR has a contract with FOX sports, so break the contract and lose the right to show any NASCAR race. Murphy is asking for something that will cost a lot of people their jobs.

    April 12, 2013 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  4. Redhead176

    That's the liberal way. If something doesn't agree with their agenda, kill it, squash it, make it illegal. Forget freedom of speech.

    April 12, 2013 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  5. EF

    I am a life long NASCAR fan and will not be supporting this race on Fox. I would do the same thing if their was another polarizing sponsor I did not agree with. At this time in American history, this sponsorship is wholly inappropriate and should be terminated. Bad move NASCAR. You are above getting involved in politics like this and it's a smack in te face to the Newtown families you supported with the Daytona car. Absolutely awful.

    April 12, 2013 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  6. Mom of Twins

    If you don't agree with the NRA then don't watch the race. Not everyone is against our right to bear arms.

    April 12, 2013 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  7. JC in PA

    Thinking each person in attendance should have to be carrying a legal gun to enter and that each driver be required to have one in the car and everyone in the pit crew required to have one holstered where it can be seen. Race cars, alcohol, testosterone fast cars and weapons. yee hii....let's party. Everyone fire off a round to support your favorite driver and the NRA. What could go wrong everyone in attendance when by NRA definition all would be a responsible person.

    April 12, 2013 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  8. dustylion

    I don't completely agree with the NRA but trying to pin them with some kind of responsibility for Newtown is rediculous. The NRA had nothing to do with that tragic day, and trying to get the race from showing based on it, is trying to convince the public that that they are somehow responsible for what happened.

    Senator, stop pandering to he masses, get off your ass, and focus on the real debates, not these non-issues.

    April 12, 2013 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  9. Michael

    I Guess the New England Patriots will have to stop using their black powder rifles and the Tampa Bay Bucs will have to stop firing off those cannons. Gee Wally, guess will have to use sling shots.

    April 12, 2013 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  10. Eric

    The NRA is a private business...They can sponsor anything they want and a NASCAR race in Texas makes perfect business sense. If a corporation like McDonald's can take care of sick children after selling the crappy food they serve, I don't see why the NRA couldn't sponsor a NASCAR race !!!!!

    April 12, 2013 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  11. Millerbarber

    I supposed now if ignore the other side of a debate that is fine! Seriously this is America! If the NRA pays why not? Have the debate in the halls of elected officials, but to say we just exclude the NRA is like saying the Army can't be represented. I'm for total gun control and this is what upsets me about our side. Lets violate the constitution and deny freedom of speech because we disagree with their point of view.

    April 12, 2013 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  12. Bob

    So now the democrats want to infringe on the freedom of speech also. They are unbelievable.

    April 12, 2013 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  13. Dennis

    The last mass attack the weapon of choice was a knife NOT A Gun Should we ban knives.

    April 12, 2013 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  14. Maggie McDuh

    The families of the Newtown victims will probably never be ready to watch this event and they don't have to. For the rest of the world this isn't days after Newtown it's been months. We've learned the lesson about gun safety and control. I don't plan to watch the NRA race because I'm not interested, but for a Government official to try to make that decision for me is crossing the line. Freedom of speech and freedom of the press were granted for just these reasons. Shame on you Senator!

    April 12, 2013 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  15. Jody

    I guess neither the 1st or 2nd amendments mean much to Sen. Murphy.

    April 12, 2013 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  16. Please

    The hypocrisy of the American politician. You allow your disapproval to be broadcast across the airwaves and interwebs, your opponent decides to do the same, and you want to silence them. The only party hurt in this debate are the souls and memories of the children who were murdered. Let it go America.

    April 12, 2013 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  17. Plumber

    So what is Murphy afraid of? Just because Connecticut in it's delusional thinking that banning certain guns and magazines is going to stop criminals from getting guns doesn't mean everyone else should think that way. So now instead of just alienating NRA members, now he wants to turn NASCAR fans against him as well. That's what I would expect from people that walk around with blinders on. Ignore the facts and keep passing laws that the supreme court will eventually overturn when it's challanged.

    April 12, 2013 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  18. RandyMarshCT

    Chris Murphy "hates us for our freedom", as George W Bush would say. I'm completely ashamed to be a CT resident these days. My state is waging a war against the Bill of Rights on every front except forcing me to quarter soldiers. I'm sure they'll figure out a way to do that too eventually.

    April 12, 2013 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  19. Stan in NH

    It's called free speech. You may not like the second amendment, but the first amendment should be respected regardless of whether or not you agree with the message. This is just moronic.

    April 12, 2013 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  20. DaveW

    I am a NASCAR fanatic, but I agree with this Senator. I will not be watching this NASCAR race, even if it is aired. Our gun culture is a problem.

    April 12, 2013 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  21. dialogos68

    What? You liberals now support govrnment tyranny! Yeah, now our politicains can tell us what to eat, what to say, what to think and what to watch, Welcome to our new-found idiocracy!

    April 12, 2013 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  22. SPW

    Damn, that's so bias it's hilarious

    "They don't agree with our views so censor everything they do"

    April 12, 2013 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  23. dialogos68

    Yeah, now our politicains can tell us what to eat, what to say, what to think and what to watch, Welcome to our new-found idiocracy! Go socialism! Right?

    April 12, 2013 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  24. Dave Bannerton

    "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 channel Fox Sports where the race will be broadcast.

    Yes, this is a very well thought out plan, lets drop the nfl games next since the tackles are so violent. Cancel baseball because players chew tobacco and you might see it on the tv. How about ban the gay parade since it might bring attention to one side of a heated debate over gay marriage and men might be seen kissing. See how easy this can get?

    April 12, 2013 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  25. A True Conservative

    Thank you for your input Senator. Now, tell me again how adding additional gun laws to the ones that we already have and don't enforce is going to make things better. Explain to me how Chicago, with some of the strictist gun laws in the nation, has one of the highest gun realted crime rates. Tell me why you expect a criminal will obey a gun law when they aren't obeying other laws. That's what I thought – there are no answers to those questions. It's all about feelings.....

    April 12, 2013 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
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