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.