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. SuperGlide

    What about when the New England Patriots score a TD? Guns are fired.....

    April 12, 2013 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  2. Michael Scott

    Sen. Murphy would do better conserning himself with our economy and our national dept. than trying to link the Texas 500 and the NRA sponsorship to the Newtown tragety. It seems he is the only one bringing inappropriate attention in this case.

    April 12, 2013 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  3. Maggie McDuh

    It's only the immediate wake of Newtown to people in Newtown. They may never be ready to watch an event like this. I'm so sorry for their pain. I don't own a gun, I don't plan to watch the race, but for a U.S. Senator to try to suppress it's broadcast is crossing the line. Freedom of the press was garaunteed to us by our Founding Fathers BECAUSE of goverment suppression of the press in England. Let's not repeat the mistakes of Mother England at this late date!

    April 12, 2013 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  4. futureman1

    If Murdock does this it would send a message to the knuckle draggers.....

    April 12, 2013 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  5. Bill

    This is unreal.

    April 12, 2013 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  6. crackerbox

    I am tired of the gov't running my life. If you don't like the NRA name on something just don't watch or buy it, period. Quit putting the NRA down. One of these days you people that want the gov't involved in everything will wake up one day and find out you can't go to the bathroom without the gov't telling you can or not. Just let the gov't run the country and stay out the PEOPLES personal lives! This country is starting to turn into something other then freedom for the people.

    April 12, 2013 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  7. 18E

    First, your Second Amendment rights are attacked, then your First Amendments rights are attacked, priceless.
    This is exactly why the founding fathers gave us these amendments, as franchise to U.S. citizenship. To protect of from the political classes, and keep liberty alive.

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

    If Rupert Murdoch were to take such a bold stance and cancel the race, I would switch my allegiance from MSNBC to Fox News.

    April 12, 2013 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  9. Brian

    look at the type of people who watch Nascar..of course the NRA is sponsoring. If you ask me, NASCAR and NRA go hand in hand..

    April 12, 2013 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  10. As Expected

    And yet another fine example of the liberal hatred of anybody with a belief different than themselves.

    April 12, 2013 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  11. BartyBart

    What about the fact that tabbaco companies are not allowed to sponsor race cars? No one seems to be crying first amendment over that

    April 12, 2013 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  12. Anonymous

    Who does this Senator think he is? God That is what the Voter"s get To much Power remind's me of North Korea!

    April 12, 2013 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  13. Anonymous

    I see, the "D" in front of Connecticut explains it. Seems Dems just don't care about individual freedoms anymore. I support some of the gun laws being proposed but I DO NOT support a senator trying to tell us what we can watch. There are several words that " D" can stand for in my mind.

    April 12, 2013 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  14. idb

    Typical leftist rhetoric. They don't like the NRA because it proves them wrong all the time. So, they try to block them out of their life instead of entering a meaningful discussion.The Spanish inquisition did the same with religions they did not like.

    April 12, 2013 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  15. RSaundersPA

    It's not censorship to ask Rupert Murdoch to put his money where his mouth is. He has called for action and now he has an opportunity to take action. He should do it or shut up.

    April 12, 2013 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  16. DaveNYUSA

    Isn't asking the network to NOT air the NRA 500 a bit like asking a senator to NOT take a bribe?!

    April 12, 2013 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  17. StarshipTrooper

    LOL. Who cares! Crappy drivers, driving Crappy cars. They wouldn't stand a chance on a world Grand Prix circuit race.

    April 12, 2013 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  18. BytraWatches

    2nd Amendment, Check.
    4th Amendment, working on it.
    1st Amendment, well, what are we waiting for.

    First background checks where they keep the paperwork and then we will see Holder create regulations to create gun owner databases based on that paperwork and then we will see gun confiscation. Time to call your Senators and tell them to vote this down!!!

    April 12, 2013 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  19. Matt from CT

    Chris Murphy is a tool. This is just a way for another CT career politician to make a name for himself. What exactly did NASCAR and the NRA have to do with Newtown? Please enjoy your last term as a politician, and fade away.

    April 12, 2013 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  20. jowl

    Roll my freaking eyes..

    April 12, 2013 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  21. Tom

    Let's call it the "Repeal the 1st and 2nd Amendment 500", or "Everyone wear this neat gray hat and uniform 500" Would that be ok?. Leave Texas alone....Use common sense and enforce the current laws.

    April 12, 2013 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  22. Pierce

    Sen. Chris Murphy has some real issues. He wants to censure based on no current law, he wants to bully based on no current law, he wants to not honor the laws that built this country that hundreds of thousands of real Americans died for. The Nazi's used these same tactics in the 1930's and 1940's, the Russians did the same for centuries, Pol Pot, Idi Amin etc.

    April 12, 2013 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  23. Newport Pagnell

    How 'bout not watching all the violent tv shows and video games.

    April 12, 2013 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  24. T.H.

    With all the violence in movies etc, and this guy is worried about a car race. Great. Funny how the first Amendment doesn't apply if you are going to use it to promote the Second.

    April 12, 2013 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  25. frrc29

    senator couldn't afford to pay all the sponsors that have already payed for a sponsor and certainly no matter what nascar will be on television no matter what. the NRA is a sponsor that has payed a lot of money towards nascar and other companies. im deeply saddened by the events that happened in Newtown, ct. but this race has nothing to do with what happened in newtown,ct. nascar racing has been around for a long time. this senator should worry more about the important things like jobs and lowering taxes. he cant put nascar and the nra and newtown, ct together it just makes no sense

    April 12, 2013 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
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