NASCAR to 'Take a Closer Look' at Sponsorships after NRA Backs Latest Event
In response to the controversy surrounding the National Rifle Association's (NRA) sponsorship of this weekend's Sprint Cup, NASCAR has announced that, going forward, it will be more involved in race-sponsorship decisions.
NASCAR spokesman, David Higdon said:
"The NRA's sponsorship of the event at Texas Motor Speedway fit within existing parameters that NASCAR affords tracks in securing partnerships.
"However, this situation has made it clear that we need to take a closer look at our approval process moving forward, as current circumstances need to be factored in when making decisions."
The NRA sponsorship was announced on March 4 in the middle of a heated gun-control debate that has yet to be resolved.
Many gun control advocates have decried the "NRA 500" and some have even called on fans to boycott the event.
The latest high-profile gun-control advocate to denounce the NRA's sponsorship was Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn).
Murphy wrote a letter to News Corp. CEO, Rupert Murdoch, in a plea to prevent Fox from airing the event Saturday night.
"I write today to urge you to not broadcast NASCAR's NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 13th," the letter reads.
"This race, which is being sponsored by the National Rifle Association (NRA), is going to take place during the Senate's consideration of legislation to reduce gun violence.
"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."
The efforts of the Senator and those who support his position have been widely reported in the news, but Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage says that only a few people have actually complained about the sponsorship decision.
"We've had fewer than a dozen responses," Gossage said.
"Of those, only two had purchased tickets. There is no controversy or big uproar or even a tiny uproar. As for this senator, I appreciate a good publicity effort as much as anyone."