Stewart defended the St. Louis Rams players for their "hands up, don't shoot" gesture prior to their Sunday afternoon game against the Oakland Raiders. He mocked the St. Louis police for demanding an apology from the players.
Reaction to the Ferguson protests has spilled over into the sporting world, prompting a variety of responses. Former NBA star and current analyst Charles Barkley called some of the rioters "scumbags" during an interview on a Philadelphia radio show.
U.S. civil rights icon, and 1968 Olympian, John Carlos chided Barkley for his remarks. Carlos and Tommy Smith are best known for their raised fist gesture on the podium at the 1968 Olympics, which drew attention to the discrimination of African Americans.
"He's just looking for political votes down the line," Carlos told the New York Daily News of Barkley's comments.
Carlos praised the Rams players for making their statement and encouraged other athletes to step forward.
“How about those Rams? They may be under contract to play football, but greater than that, they have a right to care about humanity,” Carlos told The Nation. “They have the right to feel whether something is just or unjust."