Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy wants NASCAR officials to reconsider calling one of the sport’s upcoming events, the NRA 500.
Murphy, who has helmed the conversation on gun control in the US since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut last December, sent a letter to NASCAR officials asking them to reconsider the move. According to reports, the senator addressed his correspondence to Brian France, chairman and CEO of NASCAR, saying the National Rifle Association has placed itself at odds with both “the overwhelming majority of the American people, and even their own members” over the “proper response” to the tragic school shooting.
NASCAR, it should be noted, honored the victims of the Connecticut shooting with a special green-and-white car at the Daytona 500. The machine’s livery featured a green Sandy Hook ribbon, along with instructions on how to donate to funds set up for victims. In his letter, Murphy said, “I believe it would be imprudent for NASCAR to step into such a heated political debate and take sides in this debate by allowing the NRA the title role in the race.” The NRA 500 is set to take place April 13.
Meanwhile, Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage insists the naming has less to do with politics and more to do with sports marketing, and NASCAR has said race sponsorships are agreements between the track and the sponsor, though technically the race organization can approve or reject those agreements.