Should Fox broadcast the NRA 500?

US senator calls the race 'inappropriate' in the wake of the tragedy in the Newtown, Conn.

By Jonathan Berr Apr 12, 2013 4:42PM

Aric Almirola drives the #43 Eckrich Ford during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Gen-6 Testing at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas (copyright Sean Gardner/Getty Images for NASCAR)Gun control advocates are urging News Corp. (NWS.A) not to air Saturday's NASCAR race sponsored by the National Rifle Association (NRA), scheduled for broadcast on the Fox network.

The NRA 500 was denounced by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) in a letter to News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch as "inappropriate in the immediate wake of the Newtown massacre," according to a report in Politico. He was particularly concerned about "the live shooting of guns at the end of the race."


A spokesman for New York-based News Corp. declined to comment on Murphy's letter.

Requests for comments from officials at the NRA, NASCAR, and the Texas Motor Speedway, where the race is being held, were unsuccessful. The cost to sponsor NASCAR races is about $1 million. These deals are negotiated with individual track operators, but are subject to NASCAR approval.

"NASCAR didn’t block the NRA deal, but said it would take a closer look at the sponsorship approval process in the future," according to Marketplace.

According to CNN, this is the first year that the gun owners' group had sponsored a race in NASCAR's top series. Last year, the NRA sponsored a lower-tier race at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The December shooting massacre that killed 20 young children and six adult caregivers at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Murphy's home state has reignited debate over gun control in the U.S. There has been an emphasis on increasing background checks and regulating the sale of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips like the ones used in the tragedy.

In pressing for gun control, President Obama has invoked the memories of the massacre's victims. Connecticut lawmakers recently passed sweeping gun control measures that have prompted at least one firearms manufacturer to move its operations out of the state.


A compromise being forged by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who are otherwise supportive of the NRA, to expand criminal background checks for many firearms purchases appears to be gaining momentum in Washington. The NRA has accused politicians of penalizing law-abiding gun owners with regulations they say would do little to prevent a similar tragedy.

--Jonathan Berr does not own shares of the listed stocks. Follow him on Twitter at @jdberr.

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Apr 12, 2013 7:05PM
I'm tired of hearing about Newton. It was sad, but it's done, over, finished. Let's get past it already. So what if the NRA is sponsoring a race. It has nothing to do with the guy who murdered the kids. I can't believe the people of the US are so gullible that they are freely letting their freedoms be taken away...and even asking for them to be taken away. Nothing is bad enough to allow a government to take away the rights of the people. Too many of you have been brainwashed with political rhetoric. Again, who cares if the NRA sponsors a race...and why do you want their right to sponsor a race taken away for an unconnected incident?
Apr 12, 2013 6:39PM

Maybe Sen Murphy should do his job - pass a balanced budget, cut spending, and shrink the size of the federal government before commenting on something out of his purview.

Apr 12, 2013 5:29PM
Interesting that a Connecticut Senator has ripped off the mask by going after the FIRST amendment, as well as the second.  It is tough to support and defend the constitution from all enemies, if one of them is you.
Apr 12, 2013 7:20PM
Leave it to Obama and his minions in congress to continue their pandering for gun control, and for the media to lap it up and regurgitate it.  How come no one in the main stream media ever points out that shooter at Sandy Hook obtained his weapons illegally?  It's been proven again and again and again...  if a criminal wants a gun, he (or she) will find a way to get one.
Apr 12, 2013 7:27PM

Well how Many people are killed each year by drunk drivers you don't hear anybody yelling about sponsorship of

alcoholic beverages on the cars or the drivers drinking it in interviews to promote the beverages and Nascar doesn't stop that .

Apr 13, 2013 5:16PM
You heard of Murphy's Law, haven't you?  It states "What can go wrong, will."  Guess what? It just did!!!    Remember "Who ever, gives up Freedom for Security. Gets neither!!"
Apr 12, 2013 6:00PM
Next they will add a tire smoking tax to all race tickets
Apr 12, 2013 7:52PM
bunch of ****s, i wish they would put all this attention to the people who live out in the streets! how many people die every year in our streets because they have no help? I walk to work and some times have to step over a woman who sleeps on the side walk, why do we have Americans sleeping on the streets? why dont these senators focus on this issue? bunch of ****s worrying about a race!!!

   I am NRA 
Apr 12, 2013 8:17PM
Screw Murphy.  Does he boycott programs sponsored by Planned Parenthood?  Abortions have killed many times more people than all the wars and other deaths from guns!
Apr 13, 2013 9:42PM
Why not? Alcohol kills 275 people per day in the US but it sponsors just about every sporting event possible.

Apr 12, 2013 7:06PM

If all the drivers were ****s, he'd change his tune.


Apr 13, 2013 2:14AM
Another criminal from the land of the Traitors speaks.  I think all Democrats should give up their weapons and mark a big
T on theirr front door.  Why Not?  Most American want to protect themselves so unarmed Democrats will make good targets for criminals   If an unarmed woman wants others to give up their weapons then the country can celebrate when a leftist gungrabber is raped, robbed, gutted, and beheaded.
Apr 15, 2013 2:20AM
To put it bluntly, the Senator from CT is in idiot.  The NRA was not present at the shooting in Newtown and had nothing to do with it.  The NRA and the ACLU are organizations protecting the restrictions on an overstepping government protected by the US Constitution, nothing more.  The NRA is using NASCAR as a way to advertise and promote itself as an organization for shooters and hunters.  When this sponsorship was signed there was no political motivation for it.  The good Senator decided to bring politics into it by attempting to demonize the NRA.  LEAVE POLITICS OUT OF NASCAR.
Apr 14, 2013 2:14PM

We know the democrats stand against the Constitution.  They have not learned their lesson since Lincoln had to put them down in 1861.  We may need to deal with these traitors to the Constitution again.


As to the NASCAR race, GOOD for the NRA!  We already know what the 'progressives' think about NASCAR.  They ridicule it every chance they get.   We need to get rid of these close minded democrat types.  Next year every gun owner will need to turn out to VOTE against every DEMOCRAT traitor they can, at every level.   And we will. 

Apr 13, 2013 4:54PM
as hard as sponsorship money is to come by these days NASCAR would take one from the KKK
Apr 13, 2013 9:36AM
Fox is a money making entity.  They will do whatever makes them the most $$$.
Apr 12, 2013 7:00PM
Apr 12, 2013 5:36PM
is NASCAR so hard up for sponsor to have to go to the NRA,  I don't watch this any way and i'm not the only one.  have you seen their ratings lately and so I've heard lots of empty seats
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