Fans react to Bubba Stewart arrest

Dailies -



Supercross is huge. 70,000 fans attended just the race at the Georgia Dome last year. And there’s no bigger Supercross racer than James “Bubba” Stewart. So when news began to spread that he’d been arrested for impersonating a cop last night, people had a thing or two to say about it.

Show solidarity: grab a “Free Bubba” profile image on our Facebook page.

The news initially broke on the VitalMX forum.

Initial reactions were predictably skeptical. Several other topics sprung up calling out people for spreading false news.

Then the media reports began to hit. Once people started seeing Bubba’s arrest on TV, they began to accept the news. The first reactions were also somewhat predictable. I’m going to call these the:

Leave Bubba alone!

But then something extraordinary happened. Rather than descend into criticism of a role model gone bad, his fans found that they could actually relate to Bubba’s behavior.

Supercross fans are the greatest fans in the world.

This would have made a great t-shirt if Bubba hadn’t already been released from jail.

There was some admonishment of course, but rather than expressing anger or betrayal, Bubba’s fans instead expressed something else — sympathy.

We love Bubba.

Now, less than 12 hours after it was taken, Bubba’s mugshot is already becoming something of a Meme. Posters on VitalMX are using it as their avatar and we’ve seen many people using it as their Facebook profile photo too.

So why is all this significant? Compare the above to reactions to the revelation of Tiger Woods’ womanizing. Bubba’s been called “the Tiger Woods of supercross” yet his fans haven’t lost respect for him post-arrest. Why? Well, the nature of the scandal is different of course. Tiger plays golf, which, as far as we can tell, is watched by fat old white people who like nothing better than passing judgement. Supercross is enjoyed by a demographic that’s more active, more open to risk and more likely to have found themselves in Bubba’s shoes at some point. To quote one of his Facebook fans, “we have all done the same thing.”

But we think this is more significant than just different types of scandal and different audiences. Bubba represents a much healthier kind of stardom than Tiger used to embody. Rather than a godlike character capable of doing no wrong (Tiger, pre-sexcapades), Bubba has always been seen as flawed, as self-effacing and, well, as a human being. Real people make mistakes. Sometimes that mistake is impersonating a police officer while pulling over off-duty cops.

  • JonB

    I want a Free Bubba shirt. Get DSC on it.

    • Wes Siler

      Ha, that reminds me, have some DSC shirts in the mail and they haven’t arrived yet. I bet there’s a couple very stylishly decked out customs agents at JFK right now…

  • NickP

    “FREE BUBBA and buy him a copy of GTA IV so he can live out his secret crime life digitally”

  • Alex


  • Michael

    It’s odd: most people don’t seem terribly interested in mercy until the criminal becomes a media sensation. I bet if you presented the scenario of the case, absent knowledge of the famous alleged perp, most of the folks arguing “ain’t so bad” would say “throw the book at the fucking jerks.”

    We’ve all done stupid crap, sure. For some people a lot of that stuff involves bullying others, messing with people, getting over on chumps. I see that shit every damn day where I live. Those kinds of fuckheads deserve the full slamdown of the law. He should get, in full, exactly what any non-’famous’ punk asshole would get, no more, no less. Fucking dipshit.

  • Nicolas

    Did he really pull over an off-duty cop?! What a dumb ass! LOL

    • Michael

      This happens surprisingly often. Really. What usually happpens is people do this crap until they try to pull over a real cop. Then TSHTF.

    • Cajun58

      How exactly would he have known they were off duty cops?

  • David

    What’s with all the “we’ve all done it” comments? Am I the only person that has never tried to impersonate a LEO?

    Does it not concern people how long he may have been doing this and what he may have been doing passing himself off as a cop?

    • Cajun58

      What is it you are concerned about that he may have been doing after pulling people over?

      • David

        Anything! But let’s just say asking for bribes, harassing people, confiscating items, strip searching. Use your imagination.

        • Cajun58

          Are you serious?

          • Grant Ray

            I think somebody watches too much CSI and Law&Order reruns. Also, obviously didn’t grow up jumping trucks on the tracks.

  • Corey

    Stupid is as stupid does. What a terrific lack of judgment and self-control. I hope it doesn’t cost him his career. He’ll be lucky not to spend any time in jail. Very dumb.

    • Devin

      I hope he does jail time. Impersonating a cop and pulling people over? Wtf. No sympathy.

    • Cajun58

      A temporary lapse in judgement is not in any way an indication that James is lacking intelligence.

      • Michael

        Temporary? He was doing this just ONE time and was all like “Oops, what am I doing?”

        Maybe he was sleepwalking and woke up pulling someone over? Come on.

        Putting red lights in your car to pull people over is planning ahead to commit a crime. Doing it more than one time, if he did, shows a repeat pattern of criminality. Planning to commit such a crime with someone else is, I’m pretty sure, a conspiracy to commit a crime.

        This ain’t no ‘oopsie’ no matter how much you like the guy.

        I bet ten bucks your opinion is different if you were the chump he was pulling over and messing with. NO ONE I’ve ever met likes being messed with by bullying jerks.

        • Cajun58

          If James has a permanent mental impairment then he is not capable of understanding whether what he did is wrong. In reality he is a highly intelligent person that was raised to know better. As a result he has no excuse for his actions and no possible explanation other then he made a monumental error in judgement on this particular occasion.

  • Taco

    Impersonating a cop is serious scary business. Last guy I saw do it had an air powered captive bolt pistol, used to kill cattle at slaughter houses. This guy also had a really bad haircut. I think his name was Anton Chigurh.

    • JonB

      Well done.

  • Cajun58

    What are the chances this was a stunt for “Bubba’s World”? And/or something instigated by Eric Sorby? Cycle News is reporting that a Thames Jehrrod Quinault was also arrested is this Sorby’s alias or vice versa? Regardless does anyone really give a good God damn about this unless you were already a James Stewart hater in the first place?!

    • Wes Siler

      We’re reporting that Thames was arrested too :)

      • Cajun58

        Sorry! Is Thames in reality Eric Sorby?

    • Michael

      I give a goddamn whenever someone commits a crime. If it involves messing with people just minding their own business, I give an even bigger crap.

      I don’t follow Bubba’s racing, don’t care any more or less about the guy than any other guy, never heard of the guy outside of HFL. But if this stuff is true, he’s a punk and an idiot, don’t care who he rides for or what he wins.

      Would anyone defend the guy if he wasn’t a James Stewart fan in the first place? Last time I checked the average person wasn’t giving too much sympathy to the average common criminal, unless they were on TV or something.

      He ought to get prosecuted exactly the same as any other idiot pulling this crap. I guess I’m funny that way.

      “It’s not his fault someone else instigated it?” That’s a criminal defense? If you’re Bubba’s Mom, I guess it is.

      • Cajun58

        James is a multimillionaire and I’m sure he will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law as it is typically applied to someone of his socioeconomic status.

  • slash5alive

    Ha ha, this has to be the best irony going. I laugh every time I think about it. Impersonating a LEO to a Leo! Funny.You can’t pay people to write shit this good. Book em Danno! ROTFLMAO

  • HammSammich


  • johnny

    I think he was lucky,we could all be reading
    that Bubba Steward was shot by some wing nut
    for impersonating a police officer. Time to
    grow up and take some responsibliltes for your actions


    what will Ralph Shaheen say?

  • brutus

    he’s just 25 years old. probably spent the majority of the time when he shoulda been out raisin hell working his ass off to be one of the largest mx racers in the world. so i say, cut him a break!
    its not like he was wielding a gun or high on meth or somethin real crazy. I mean he’s no charlie sheen

    • Tom

      25 years old makes him a grown man, not a kid.

      Are there seriously people who think it’s OK for some random douchebag to pretend to be a cop and pull people over? WTF?

      • Dean

        A trifle shocking, isn’t it — grown men acting like little boys!

        There are certainly worse things a 25 year old could be doing.

  • R.Sallee

    There is great irony in summarizing a group of people as indefinite as golf fans by essentially calling them bigots.

    Other variables to consider: 1) Only motocross fans know who James Stewart is; 2) James Stewart didn’t cheat, countless times, on a beautiful wife and ruin the lives of his children.

  • ike6116

    I hope he takes the title and yamaha gives him police theme plastics for his YZF.

    People hoping for jail time are either aspergers kids who cant handle the idea of living in a world where the rules are broken or need to seriously lighten the fuck up.

    • Mr.Paynter

      Rules are meant to be broken, for the fun or f_ck of it, not to intimidate others!

  • mugget

    Nicking off with police officers hats seems like a much more enjoyable past time.

  • Paul

    I could tell his bell got rang in Daytona, but I didn’t think it would have lasting effects.

  • zato1414

    I like Bubba Stewart, I like his show, I like his family. I know he is so fast he is going to fall down rather than lap the whole field. This attack of “Dumbass Disease” and impersonating a copper could have gotten them both rather well ventilated by a .45. Jail time? I think it’s coming, and Bubba will meet ‘Bubba’.

  • David

    I am a casual MX fan, and I’ve kept an eye on James Stewart for the last five years or so, hoping that he would at some point mature as a rider. He’s always had the attitude of, “I will always ride as fast as I possibly can, no matter what.” When you are demonstrably 25% faster than the rest of the field when you ride as fast as you possibly can, you should DIAL BACK THE THROTTLE. The best possible speed to win a race is as slow as possible. This is why JS never wins championships. I thought maybe he had it figured out for this year, but by pulling this stunt, he instead reinforced my suspicion that he really isn’t smart enough to win championships.