Former Food Network star Paula Deen compared herself to gay pro football prospect Michael Sam in an interview with People Magazine, the E! Network reported on Wednesday.
"I feel like 'embattled' or 'disgraced' will always follow my name," Deen reportedly told People. "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."
Unlike Sam, however, Deen wasn't called "embattled" or "disgraced" until after she lost her show and several endorsements following the revelation that she regularly used a racist slur regarding Black people during the course of her work.
Though discrimination charges against her were later dismissed, Deen lost her show. Earlier this month, however, she secured an investment worth between $75 million and $100 million to be used for a new company fueling a comeback bid.
In the interview, scheduled for publication on Friday, Deen also issued another public apology for her behavior, while suggesting she got less of a fair shake than another media personality, Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson, who was briefly suspended after anti-LGBT and racially-inflammatory remarks of his were published by GQ Magazine.
"It's amazing that some people are given passes and some people are crucified," Deen was quoted as saying. "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.'"
[Image via Agence France-Presse]
[h/t The Wrap]