Just after Chicago police announced their case against Jussie Smollett, CNN’s Van Jones compared the disgraced actor to legendary baseball player Jackie Robinson who transcended racial boundaries as one of the first African Americans to play Major League Baseball.

Jones said, “This is the fall of an icon and I don’t think people understand how important he has been in the black community. ‘Empire’ as a show, to have him as a beloved character, I think did a great deal to knock back homophobia in the black community.”

“The fact that he has been celebrated and you see homophobia in the black community through his eyes on the show, this is a Jackie Robinson against homophobia,” he continued.

Van Jones isn’t the only CNN commentator to praise Smollett despite his clearly atrocious actions.

For example, Don Lemon, who frequently texts his friend Smollett, recently said it’s not Jussie’s fault he lost in the court of public opinion.

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