Don't air NRA race, senator asks Rupert Murdoch
April 11th, 2013
07:45 PM ET
10 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. VancCanadian

    Why don't you just use you magnificent supply of helicopters and start dropping guns from the sky.

    Granted, they may land and break on the guns that already carpet your illustrious country, but hey, there's bound to be a net increase in the millions and millions of weapons that will NEVER be enough 🙂

    April 12, 2013 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  2. Nicodemus Grumpschmidt

    I love the so-called argument by Mikee3020. So you think all kinds of guns should be legal to anyone who wants one simply because alcohol is still legal? You're not defending your point very well when you use the old kid excuse, "Well Billy did it so why can't I?" Over-indulging in alcohol consumption and someone being killed because of it does not make any argument whatsoever for handing out guns like candy on a street corner. I love how you attempt to justify one thing by comparing it to something else that has no relevance to the issue at hand. Nice try, but too bad this one failed.

    April 12, 2013 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  3. Concerned

    "It also features the live shooting of guns at the end of the race," he claims as a reason not to air the race. Since when is it immoral or distasteful to fire a firearm? Is it still not a right we are to enjoy? And they don't want your guns? I'm not convinced. Furthermore, what business does a senator have trying to sensor sports media? Sen. Murphy sure sounds freedom loving.

    April 12, 2013 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  4. Katherine

    A debate without all sides heard is not a debate. Just because the senator doesn't like the NRA, doesn't mean their advertising should not be televised. Last time I checked, the NRA's money is just as green as the senator's. The NRA does speak for many citizens. I like seeing advertising that represents my point of view, as I'm a little sick of having the president's agenda shoved own my throat and of being demonized because I choose to exercise my Second Amendment rights.

    April 13, 2013 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  5. robert kiehm

    What is this country coming to when your whining about who sponsors a race.I find it sickening that they prance a grieving mother on tv that knows nothing about guns.if her kid was stabbed or beat to death the news and the Whitehouse wouldn't have given her 5mins on the air

    April 13, 2013 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  6. That guy

    Texas Motor Speedway holds over 200,000 people. Not one person has ever been shot there ever.

    April 13, 2013 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  7. Larry

    I can't believe how our society is becoming dumb and dumber every day. Everyone know that this is 2013, we do not need guns, we do not need wars, We need a solid education, a universal healthcare and comfortable life for every one of us. Americans are full of hate, full of ignorance and full of rage: this is why they want more guns! It is sad, US of A is already lagging behind many countries except in weapons and guns. There is no hope! Hell with this country, I am leaving to Singapore! People there have working brains!

    April 13, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  8. Karen Ogburn

    Sen. Chris Murphy may have good intentions but I think he is wrong to say fox should not broadcast the Nascar race. The NRA is not a banned organization in the United States, they are not doing anything against the law by sponsoring the Nascar race. If Sen. Christ Murphy want's to boycott NRA or Nascar or refused to watch the race that is fine. If other people agree with him want to do the same thing that is fine as well. I have no problem with that either. But,insisting Fox should not broadcast the race is forcing everyone to agree with your views on something that is neither against the law or banned in our country. It comes across as infringing on my right and the freedom of speech of those who do want to participate or watch the nascar race.

    April 13, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
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