Amidst Monday's NASCAR news, which announced the National Rifle Association as the official sponsor for an upcoming race in Texas, "Piers Morgan Tonight" welcomed a series of unique voices to share their insight and perspective on the agreement.
Joining Piers Morgan in person, CNN Sports anchor and host Rachel Nichols explained that the deal essentially provides a loophole for the NRA to advertise their product within the race, despite being restricted by television networks and cable companies:
"Part of the sponsorship deal is that at least once an hour the broadcaster has to mention the name of the sponsor. So all of a sudden, this is, in some ways, an end around that the NRA, who has had controversial ads, gun makers not being allowed to advertise guns on Fox, usually - the NRA name will be out there with some regularity during the broadcast," she revealed. "And this really hasn't happened before in this scenario. Because there's never been this high-profile athletic event sponsored by the NRA."
Joining Nichols in studio and across from the host, Tim Carmody noted that such a situation – in which the racing league partners with a controversial sponsor – is hardly unprecedented:
"There's a history here in terms of television advertising and NASCAR. So NASCAR, for years, the Sprint Cup, which is the series that this race is in, most people probably know as the Winston Cup. It was sponsored by R.J. Reynolds," detailed senior writer of "The Verge." "This was a way around the government's earlier laws banning the sale of tobacco, sale of cigarettes, that, again, you would get the brand, or the name of the sponsor mentioned in golf tournaments, tennis tournaments and absolutely NASCAR races."
Joining the debate from Houston, meanwhile, Dan Patrick suggested that all the day's controversy was entirely unwarranted, and nonsensical:
"Tell me what's bad about it. I mean, Texans love guns. Texans love fast cars. There's nothing wrong with NASCAR. And they have been involved with the NRA before," said the Republican State Senator representing the 7th District of Texas. "There's nothing wrong with this, Piers. I really don't understand anyone who would want to argue with the Bill of Rights, the First Amendment and the Second Amendment. They kind of go well together here."
Watch the clips, and listen to the interviews, as Nichols and Carmody place Monday's announcement into context, while Patrick further supports the pairing, summing it up by saying "fast cars, guns, Texas, it all works together. We're proud to be Americans."
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