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In an upcoming interview with People magazine, Paula Deen, the disgraced former Food Network star whose empire crumbled following allegations of racism by a former employee, made some questionable comparisons to describe her plight:
For her part, says Deen, "I was obsessed with the person America had confused me with—after I had lived my life so clean and open." Since her ordeal, other public figures, such as Duck Dynasty's Uncle Phil or The Taste's Nigella Lawson, have endured controversies and come out seemingly unscathed. "It's amazing that some people are given passes and some are crucified," Deen says. "I have a new empathy for these situations, though. My dad always told me, believe half of what you see and none of what you hear." In the end she would like to see less finger-pointing. "I feel like 'embattled' or 'disgraced' will always follow my name. It's like that black football player who recently came out," says Deen, referring to NFL prospect Michael Sam. "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."
Of course, referencing Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty as sympathetic figure is quite confusing, but doing so while also claiming to identify with Michael Sam is downright mystifying.
The lawsuit against Deen was eventually thrown out in court, but not before she admitted using racial slurs in the past.
The comments cap off what was an eventful media week for Sam, who participated in the NFL Combine and also responded to D.C. lobbyist Jack Burkman's attempt to create legislation to ban gay players from the NFL by saying "Jack Burkman is going to need a Delorian, not some bogus bill, if he wants to prevent gay athletes from being in the locker room."