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Paula Deen: I’m Like That Black, Gay Football Player

In an interview with People Magazine, former Food Network host Paul Deen discussed her life since being let go by the network and used the opportunity to compare herself to gay NFL prospect Michael Sam.

“I feel like ‘embattled’ or ‘disgraced’ will always follow my name,” Deen said in the interview. “It’s like that black football player who recently came out. He said, ‘I just want to be known as a football player. I don’t want to be known as a gay football player.’ I know exactly what he’s saying.”

She went on to point out how easily Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson got off after he made homophobic and racist remarks in an interview with GQ. “It’s amazing that some people are given passes and some people are crucified,” Deen said. “I have new empathy for these situations, though. My dad always told me, ‘Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.’”

Last year, Deen was sued for discrimination and, although charges were dropped, she was let go by the Food Network after allegations of numerous racist remarks used by Deen came to light.

Despite all that, Deen has recently secured an investment worth $75 to $100 million for a new company in search of a comeback.

The company behind the investment is Najafi Companies. The owner, Jahm Najafi, owns a piece of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns and Skymall, that magazine we all flip through to avoid talking to the person sitting next to us on the plane.

Missouri football star Michael Sam has made headlines over the last few weeks after coming out several months ahead of the NFL Draft. The SEC co-Defensive Player of the Year is expected to be a mid-round draft pick and will become the first ever openly gay active NFL player. Earlier this month, Jason Collins signed with the Brooklyn Nets to become the first openly gay active player in any of the four major sports.

Of course, while Sam has found the NFL largely welcoming, some didn’t take to the news as well. Republican lobbyist Jack Burkman is pushing a bill that would ban gay players from the NFL.

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Igor Derysh is the Managing Editor of Latest. com and a syndicated columnist whose work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald, Baltimore Sun, and Orlando Sun Sentinel, and AOL News. His work has been criticized in even more publications. Follow him on Twitter @IgorDerysh

  • What a typical media ploy. That headline is misleading. I am NO fan of hers, but what bothers me almost as much as ignorant people with more money than brains is irresponsible journalism.

  • Patrick

    I like Paula, she got railroaded, but you are right typical media, and a republican to jump straight to introducing a bill so gays can’t play, what the hell is wrong with people, Some need to come out of the closet as well, we have senators and other gov’t officials who are gay, maybe they shouldn’t be trying to run this country either according to the moron who introduced the bill. He won’t be a senator very long.

  • Lissa Boren

    She is nothing like Mr.Sam. She has a choice as to whether or not she wishes to be an ignorant redneck. Mr.Sam was born both black and gay. No choice there. The simple fact that she felt the need to include his color was a bit telling in its self.

  • Linda Spyhalski

    With all the hate going on this country it seems that it is time to step back and consider that at least Paula told the truth. When people are the age of Paula and I, we look back and see lots of bigots some of which were in our own families. It wasn’t right then and it isn’t right now but I heard things that would never be acceptable today but we learned from that environment and moved on to be much better people and to raise our children in a more open and understanding way. Many of us took it upon ourselves to fight for equal rights for all. Give Paula a break sometimes an honest person is hard to find!