Friday, March 15, 2013

NASCAR-NRA partnership sparks debate


By:  Seth Wilson

   Texas Motor Speedway is one of the many locations for this year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup series, but this year it is acquiring a little bit more attention than usual.  April 13 the “NRA 500” will be held at this race track, starting debate around the country on whether the National Rifle Association should be sponsoring events such as this.
   Merely three months ago, Sandy Hook Elementary School was the location of a mass shooting that, in total, took the lives of 20 children and six adults.  The NRA’s new sponsorship leaves many wondering whether this is a little bit too soon to bring a group supporting guns into the bright lights of a nationally televised racing event.
   This is not the NRA’s first trip around the race track however; they sponsored a Nationwide race just last year, but with the families of lost children still mourning, this decision by NASCAR is a questionable one. After NASCAR made considerable donations to Sandy Hook and the families of the victims, signing a deal with the NRA seems to be a little inconsiderate.
   Many have spoken out against the partnership, including Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy.  Senator Murphy in a letter to the CEO of NASCAR stated that:
   “Given the emotional state of the national conversation, 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 contract between the NRA and NASCAR is set for one year with an option for a second year, but a change might have to be considered if NASCAR wants to keep the public happy.

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