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Paula Deen Compares Herself To First Out Gay NFL Hopeful

“I know exactly what he’s saying,” the former celebrity chef says of Michael Sam's struggles.

Posted on February 27, 2014, at 1:19 a.m. ET

AP Photo / NBC, Peter Kramer, File
I feel like 'embattled' or 'disgraced' will always follow my name. 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.
AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File
Brian Spurlock/Usa Today Sports

College football star Michael Sam came out earlier this month and hopes to be the first openly gay player in the NFL. He has received support from his fellow Mizzou classmates, the football world, and even the White House.

Though discrimination charges were later dismissed by a judge, Deen lost her show and several endorsements for using the racial slur and saying she wanted black men to play the role of slaves for a themed party.

AP / http://J.M. Hirsch

Deen is hoping to make a comeback after announcing this month that she has secured an investment worth about $100 million for a new company, although she hasn't released any other specifics.

AP Photo/Carlo Allegri, File
AP Photo/A&E,
It's amazing that some people are given passes and some people are crucified. 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 BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.