NEW YORK, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Celebrity chef Paula Deen compared herself to gay NFL hopeful Michael Sam while she was discussing the trials and tribulations she has endured since she admitted to using the racial slur most commonly directed toward African-Americans.
“I feel like ‘embattled’ or ‘disgraced’ will always follow my name. It’s like that black football player who recently came out,” Deen told People. “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.”
During the interview, Deen also said she had “empathy” for Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson.
"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.'"
A representative from her new business, Paula Deen Ventures, said that the company is speaking with a number of “TV networks, retail chains and other possible partners.” The Wrap reported that the Food Network is not one of them.
The 67-year-old maintains that she used the racist slur a “very long time ago.”