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. It's Me

    And this clown was elected as a servant to represent the people and protect our rights? It is freedom of speech being attacked along with our right to keep and bear arms. What a moron. Time to get the Democrats out of office that have lost sight of what this country is about.

    April 12, 2013 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  2. kentuckian

    Rupert Murdoch must be insane. An insane person murdered those people, not an inanimate object.
    Lock up insane people, not firearms!

    April 12, 2013 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  3. GOD

    there you go..for years and years I heard the dems and liberals hate freedom of speech...apperently its true

    April 12, 2013 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  4. jmcdaniel22

    Seems to me that if they holler to keep the NRA Sponsored race off the air, equal time should be withdrawn from POTUS, FLOTUS and other administration officials pontificating against guns in front of grieving parents.

    April 12, 2013 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  5. Johanna Brackney

    It is about saving lives not taking away rights. The NRA doesn't care about lives. They care about money.

    April 12, 2013 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  6. ESmail

    The Newtown shooting was horrific and tragic. I pray for those families. Now I am a member of a radical organization?

    April 12, 2013 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  7. dbdy

    It begs the question why Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut is not protesting the showing of "Hanoi Jane" in her new movie that all the vets are going to do? Why isn't he demanding that the film makers not show this to the public?

    In my personal opinion and that is all it is she is a traitor to this country to this very day and should not be supported financially.

    I am a supporter of the NRA and will watch the upcoming series.

    April 12, 2013 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  8. Joe Dirt

    Freedom of speech. NRA should sponsor if they choose to. NASCAR and FOX should air if they choose to. It is a horrific event in Newtown, but that doesn't mean the people affected will have to or be forced to watch this event. There are plenty of other channels on TV if you are against it. Thats the great thing about this country, freedom to do as you please. Waste of the senators and tax payers money for him taking the time out of his job to try and do something.

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

    Why is this news? Because CNN is trying to push its liberal/socialist views. Where is the real news stories?

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

    Agree. Sen Murphy's actions are typical of the anti-gun politicians. – the NRA can sponsor any event it wants. Imagine the backlash if anyone suggested that a show sponsored by the democratic party not be aired because they are all socialists and standing in the way of progress.....

    Murphy is just trying to fluff himself up...

    April 12, 2013 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  11. Anonymous

    Bold leadership is to air the race with NRA sponsorship. The NRA is spot-on on how you protect children from criminals with guns, you do it with good people that are trained to use guns as protectors. Throwing a text book or an eraser at a gunman is not a good plan for protection. More largely, gun rights protect us from a tyrannical government.

    April 12, 2013 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  12. Dems are stupid

    We have a senator that wants censorship of something HE doesn't believe in. Turn off your TV. You don't have to watch.

    April 12, 2013 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  13. davehhds

    Is Nascar taking a political position in this debate by allowing the NRA PAC to sponsor a race? I think it is inappropriate at best.

    April 12, 2013 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  14. craig

    The NRA and Guns are not the problem, people are the problem. Until the gun grabbing morons figure this out nothing will get solved.

    April 12, 2013 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  15. Brent

    I think its fine. I just joined the NRA to show my support. Im not the only one. Have fun trying to stomp on our rights....

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

    A criminal phsycopath is responsible for the newton massacre. Not the NRA, not any law abiding citizen.

    April 12, 2013 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  17. RON

    A big NASCAR FAN, will not watch a race advertising the NRA!

    April 12, 2013 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  18. Mark W

    Never been a NASCAR fan and did not know the NRA is sponsoring a race. So what’s the big deal?
    The winner gets two John Wayne style pistols and a shotgun. I thought it was the evil assault rifles and high capacity magazines that are the problem?
    I am asking myself the following question…. Who really is a “radical organization” the NRA or the democrat party?

    April 12, 2013 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  19. aurelius

    The NRA 500?

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

    Only in the minds of twisted liberals can a simple car race be melded into a discussion on gun violence. If nothing else, the left is always good for a laugh or two.

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

    The right and courageous thing to do is air a race sponsored by the NRA. The NRA is spot-on on how you protect children from a criminal that has a gun; you do it with trained protectors that also have guns. It is moronic to believe you can throw text books, erasers, or hide behind a desk to protect children from an armed criminal. Furthermore and more dangerously, we need protection from a tyrannical government. Try going against government tyrants unarmed.

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

    Problem is... they have a contract to broadcast the race... and they'd lose boatloads of advertiser money that another network would gladly pick up.

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

    i am so sick of seeing these ppl everywhere. its ok for the pres to show these ppl around ont the tax payers dollar but a private company cant pay its own money to sponser a race. the poeple in NEWTOWn failed to protect their children. stay in CT and leave the rest of the country alone. there should be armed guards in schools, but instead u want to take ppls rights away give up ur own rights as u already have.

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

    All of you on here that are relating NRA and its members to shooting children need a good 'o fashion beatdown.

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

    The bottom line is no elective offical, weather from the right or the left should tell a legal organization/business what, where or when they should do business!!!!!!

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