The Controversial 500

NRA 500, now the Duck Commander 500...

There is a fine line to walk around certain issues in our world.

Texas Motor Speedway pulls no punches.

After the 2013 NRA 500, which caused a small stir in the racing world considering the tragic events at Newtown only months earlier, officials and Willy Robertson announced the 2014 Duck Commander 500 on Thursday.

Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with money being infused into racing, no matter the discipline. But following up last year's race sponsor with another controversial brand has raised some eyebrows.

Heading into the holiday season last year, Phil Robertson, the figurehead of the family who is the subject of "Duck Dynasty" on American cable channel A&E was suspended for comments he made in a magazine.

The severity and blunt comments about homosexuality caused the network to suspend the "Duck Dynasty" star. This in turn thrust the show into the media spotlight and was the center of much social media discourse.

Now it is the naming sponsor for a 500 mile NASCAR race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Personally, I would never say that sponsorship entering our sport, especially new sponsorship is a bad thing. So I think its great to have Duck Commander on board.

But that begs the question, is it too soon for Texas Motor Speedway to be promoting a brand that has seen controversial times in recent weeks, much like the NRA 500 last season? Or is it perfect timing?

At the end of the day, is it a race's place to make political stands in a sport that is supposed to appeal to a broad range of fans? TMS doesn't seem to care. What's that old saying about publicity again?

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Article type Commentary
Tags controversial, duck commander 500, gay, gay marriage, texas motor speedway, uncle phil, uncle si, willy robertson