Paula Deen: I’m ‘Like That Black Football Player Who Recently Came Out’


Paula Deen, who lost her Food Network television show and a number of endorsements over revelations that she used the N-word on a regular basis, compared herself to Michael Sam this week in an interview with People magazine:

"I feel like 'embattled' or 'disgraced' will always follow my name. It's like that black football player who recently came out," she tells People, 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."

Deen recently signed a $75 to $100 million business deal with an investment partner.


  1. Reacenyc says

    She is like that “bigot” who used to have a cooking show…She doesn’t even understand she is saying racist things when she says them….

  2. Not That Rob says

    Why the need to even specify that “black” football player when there’s only one football player who came out?

    And obviously it’s the same thing because being racist is an inborn train that is not learned. Oh wait…

  3. Brad Doles says

    Wait. Paula Deen is a black “gay football player”? Her PR team must be in constant code red mode. Poor Paula.

  4. Jack M says

    This proves that Paula really is not intelligent enough to understand her situation or what the real world is like. I feel sorry for her; she doesn’t intend to be unaware, it just comes naturally.

  5. David From Canada says

    Paula needs to stay away from the words ‘black’ and ‘gay’.
    I strongly believe that she was subjected to an epic witch-hunt, but these latest statements many not help her.
    Paula, no more talk about minorities – just cook!

  6. RJ says

    @CRISPY … Empathy is not the word I’d use. Perhaps “cluelessness” or maybe even “narcissism”.

  7. Frank says

    Did I miss something? I thought that in her recent troubles, she had admitted to using the “n-word” in 1986 after having been robbed. The post here says she used it “on a regular basis.”

    And let’s be real – anyone who believed that a woman of her age from the deep South had never used the n-word was exceptionally naive. It doesn’t make it right, but she was just being honest during her deposition and I believe that the case in which all of this came out was eventually dismissed.

  8. says

    Wait, so… the struggles and adversity that Michael Sam has experienced as person of color/gay man/gay man of color = the backlash she’s endured from using racial slurs? Wow. She so. doesn’t. get it.

  9. Taylor says

    Paula…whenever you feel the need to utter the words “gay” or “black” just stick a stick of butter in your mouth. You won’t regret it.

  10. Voet says

    I agree with what others here have said, she should not make any statements about race. It is too much like the person who farts in a room and then tries to convince everyone that her shoe made that noise.

    Also, I could be wrong, but in that picture it looks like she lost some weight.

  11. Buck says

    I believe she is correct.

    Michael Sam doesn’t want to be known as the gay black football player.

    He simply wants to be known as the black football player.

  12. dommyluc says

    Remember that time Paula Deen got hit in the face with the flying Smithfield ham? They should have thrown the whole goddamned hog at her. Maybe that would have knocked some sense into her. As my hero Bugs would say, “What a maroon!”

  13. crispy says

    “she should not make any statements about race. ”

    Uh, she didn’t make a statement about race. She simply used “black” as an identifying characteristic.

  14. Rowan says

    I wonder if she was a man, all you gay men would be making excuses for her?? I can’t remember the amount of times some-namely-black figure has said something positive about gay rights but because they have used the wrongs words, they were insulted.

    If I remember correctly, Charles Barkley years ago before it was ‘hip’ was speaking for gay rights and Tlrd reported. Nearly 3/4 of the comments were insulting the words he used and did not even sound grateful. At all.

    And this nasty, greedy, lying, unrepentant scumb bag comes out with this cr*p and you’re all making excuses for her??????!!

    ‘It’s just the south’….woah.

    England’s imperialism I think pretty much trumps the US but d*mn if someone said something like ‘oh, of course we say n*gger, it’s just the way it is in our country’….


    LMAO, I’m gonna go around shooting, offending and just being the nastiest person in the world. Of course I won’t get away with it because I’m a black male but, sigh, if I was a white woman (or man), I could just laugh and proclaim ‘Let me get away with it! I’m from the South!’

    To be Southern!! No moral responsibility is required of you at all..awesome!

  15. jeff says

    She really needs to quit referring to her “situation” and try to rebuild her brand. If I were her agent, I would tell her to just shut up. Don’t do press unless it is tightly controlled, and cook the hell out everything.

  16. Mike says

    I read she has a restaurant the size of a small airport opening up in Tennessee. The gays picking on her will be good for business.

  17. Hrm says

    Few things: Sam is NOT the only football player to come out. The other one mentioned just last week was white. Regular readers of this blog would know that. Secondly, she just wants to cook, which is the point. I wonder, how many of you would give a damn about the way you were saying something to your significant other right after you were held up AT GUNPOINT? I sure as hell would have said the same thing. Don’t embarrass yourself by saying you would NEVER say those things in that kind of horrible stressful situation, because we both know it’s a lie.

  18. NotSafeForWork says

    Paula, embattled and disgraced will always follow you when you objectify people based on race and then express a kindred spirit connection with Phil Robertson.

    The analogy in any format would have been bad, but if she had the foresight to draw one, she should have at least used Michael Sam’s name. However, as many have said here, there is just no comparison between the two.

    Paula is an intelligent business woman, who is unfortunately a product of her environment. The problem isn’t that she may or may not be a racist. The problem is at this point she should know the difference.

  19. Derrick From Philly says

    Love her! The minorities go after her because they are jealous of a successful southern woman.

  20. Ricco says

    Why is is stupid people always manage to land on their feet, and get offered million dollar deals?

    Really, Paula? You’re just like the gay football player, Michael Sam, a respectful man, who did not disparage others with facial slurs?

    And what is it about his story that is so similar to yours?

    He wants a chance, his FIRST chance to pursue his dream, and all he asks is that he not be narrowly defined as a gay football player.

    And your like him because you want ANOTHER chance at making millions, and do not want to be narrowly defined as a woman who went around using the “N” word?

    Anyone can change, can grow, can be forgiven, but you have to totally own your bad behavior, stop the pity party. Stop acting like the world owes Paula something. Stop talking about your old sh*t. Move on, and the world will move on with you.

    And most of all . . . comparing your reprehensible bigotry to a Black, courageous gay man whose only worng doing, so far, has been to be one of those people you called “Ni****s”, and who has dared to dream that he could be a gay professional football player!

    Your story does not remotely resemble Michael Sams.

  21. woody says

    jeez, why can’t she just say “that football player?” why does she have to say “that black football player?” ugh…
    talk about a trip back in time in a delorean…

  22. Derrick from Philly says

    @ “Love her! The minorities go after her because they are jealous of a successful southern woman.

    Posted by: Derrick From Philly | Feb 27, 2014 11:47:24 AM”

    What minorities? Closeted homosexual men who are terrified of something called the “culture of effeminacy”?

    but you were a little funnier today, RICK.

    @ “…a successful southern woman.”

    What about a successful southern queen, RICK?

    When are you and I going to compete on RuPaul’s Drag Race…the senior citizen division? I’d crush you.

  23. Ricco says

    I am from the south . . . and I did not use the “N” word except when it applied to black cops and politicians who turned on other Black people.

    Just like I only use the “F” word about gay men, usually politicians and cops, who discriminate and have turned on other gay men.

    And I have used the “C” word about women who have betrayed other women, who did not protect their children.

    I know people will disagree with me, but sometimes the “N” word, the “F” word, and the “C” word just applies . . . but only specifically, like the word Nazi applies to someone who WAS actually a Nazi, or the word murderer applies to a murderer, rapist to a rapist.

    It’s called adjectives people, and the more negative adjective, like the positive adjectives, sorry to say, aptly describe some people.

    But let’s be clear, these are not words that should not be thrown about cavalierly to define an entire race, sex, or someone whose politics disagree with your own.

    But who knows . . . life is not through with me yet. I have learned in my life many hard lessons, the hard way. Who knows, one day I may become enlightened, and deem these words as inappropriate no matter how aptly I feel they describe an individual . . . but that day is not today.

    Oh, and I do not think Paula is a “C.”

    In her case, I would say the “S” word applies.

    She’s stupid!

  24. Mags says

    Oh to be that self-unaware, to say the N* word repeatedly then using the excuse that you are southerner, i.e. you don’t know any better. To plan your son’s wedding with black servers dressed as antebellum slave-servers. To try kidding and presenting your black “friend”, i.e. poor surprised employee you never talked to before, as your black-as-board little buddly… and all that as far back as only 2013.

    Poor Paula D. She really is like that black gay football player whose name she just can’t remember, i.e. she couldn’t be bothered to truly read about beyond the headline. Sad, sad little xenophobe indeed.

  25. Mags says

    Oh to be that self-unaware, to say the N* word repeatedly then using the excuse that you are southerner, i.e. you don’t know any better. To plan your son’s wedding with black servers dressed as antebellum slave-servers. To try kidding and presenting your black “friend”, i.e. poor surprised employee you never talked to before, as your black-as-board little buddly… and all that as far back as only 2013.

    Poor Paula D. She really is like that black gay football player whose name she just can’t remember, i.e. she couldn’t be bothered to truly read about beyond the headline. Sad, sad little xenophobe indeed.

  26. Mags says

    @Ricco. So you are a discriminating bigot, but with discriminatory guidelines?

    No excuses. you cannot use the N* word because that specific word is in direct relation with factual history where human beings of color where considered as non-persons, as objects belonging to owners.

    You cannot call a person by the F* word without being inferring in a most deragatory term they are a man attracted to other men… Or a cigarette if you are British.

    F and N are terms that put down people. Words that were used to demean human beings and take away their self-pride and self-worth.

    As for the word Nazzi, it is in fact an abuser, not an abusee like F* and N*.

  27. CMLion says

    Bless her heart… just when people were starting to forget her bigotry, she goes and sticks her big-fat foot back into her mouth.

  28. George M says

    SMH. She quotes 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.” Instead of referring to him as that football player, Micheal, or Mr Sam what came out of her mouth is,”that black football player who recently came out”. Her PR people really need to have another talk with her.

  29. Here'sYourSign says


    It’s hard to tell who’s who on this cra* tastic comment board with all the copycats that troll their enemies, but I think the first Ricco was the legit one. I’m not sure. It’s sad, really.

  30. Mags says

    Couldn’t they simplify it and have everyone register so no handle could be used twice?

    I know, I know, here’s my sign. 😉

  31. BrokebackBob says

    Everyone read carefully what Paula said. She must have had a few cocktails before she made her statement although I like to think she’s just stupid. No, Paula, “embattled” and “disgraced” will always FOLLOW your name.
    She has a new product that she says exemplifies her “look” and “fragrance”. Instead of White Diamonds, she calls it “White Trash”.

  32. Mike B. says

    Oh man, I’ve had clients with very difficult behavior, as well. I can totally sympathize with her publicist.

  33. Ricco says

    @ MAGS

    Calling me a bigot does not persuade me. Bigot, like the “N” word, the “F” word, and the “C” word is an adjective, meant to describe a specific characteristic of an individual, in this case, misapplied.

    For your edification:

    noun ˈbi-gət

    : a person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc. : a bigoted person; especially : a person who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group (such as a racial or religious group)

    I do not hate people based on their race or gender, nor do I dislike people unfairly.

    I think it utterly fair that I would feel great dislike, even emnity, toward white cops who profile and kill Black citizens, and that after centuries of police brutality aimed at Black people I would be particularly incensed at Black cops who behave similarly. It is a BETRAYAL, so yes, I think the “N” word applies to the Black cops who murdered the Black New Orlean citizens on the Danziger bridge in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

    Just as I think the “F” word applies to gay politicians who vote yes on anti-gay bills when I, and many gay men and women, have labored for hundreds of years under anti-gay oppression and brutality.

    Thank you for the mini etymological lesson on the “N” word and the “F” word.

    Here is another etymological lesson for you on those words. They were co-opted by the groups they were intended to denigrate, removing the sting.

    They were also co-opted by people from those two groups to describe people from their own groups whom they felt TRULY embodied the true meaning and spirit behind those words.

    I am not a bigot. What I am is a politically incorrect person.

    I am not a fan of political correctness because this new era of political correctness is just that . . . political. It is people playing games, saying the right things to back or endorse the wrong things.

    It is ugliness, and hypocrisy wrapped up in politeness.

    This is the new era of ugly people using words like makeup to make themselves, their immoral values and their ugly politics, seem pretty while in the act of disenfranchising the poor, the homeless, or disparate ethnicities.

    So, maybe you think I am an unattractive man because I refuse to wear that particular makeup, but I am not a bigot, and unlike most politically correct people, am not a hypocrite.

    As I indicated, maybe one day I will come to see that these words have no place in my vocabulary, but it won’t be because I wish to be politically correct, and disengenuous.

    It will be because I have either gained a new perspective . . . I do not like to think of myself as being static . . . or it will be because the “N’s” and “F’s” of the world have died utterly out of the world.

    Given our current phoney era of political correctness I would say the chances of that happening are pretty remote.

  34. Derrick From Philly says

    Admire her bravery. She is fighting against diabetes and people still attack her. A lot of haters out there don’t like to see a strong Southern woman speaking out. It’s sad that this country considers Michelle Obama to be a role model while they viciously attack a real woman like Deen.

  35. Kelly says

    Asshat. That what she is. Why even say black man? She is only sorry she got caught being a racist and in time her true colors will show again.

  36. Harry says

    Oh, lighten up and leave her alone. She’s a seemingly sweet woman who meant no harm. She’s a victim of the insanely PC world we live in now.

  37. Mike says

    Speaking of the N word…

    I just got off the subway. At the last stop, a group of young black teens got on, all of them male.

    Apparently, the N word is one of the few words they actually know, because it was said about 500 times in 3 minutes.

    Let’s talk about why that’s ok. Oh wait – no- that’s not PC. It’s only worthy of condemnation when 1 old white lady says it.

  38. Here'sYourSign says


    Did you approach those young, misguided teens and counsel them on the colloquial use of racial perjoratives?

  39. Donny says

    I will say I find it interesting that most seem to think it’s okay to call her fat and other names but not okay for her to use the word black to describe Michael Sam when he in fact black. Right or wrong, just saying it seems hypocritical.

  40. Donny says

    I will say I find it interesting that most seem to think it’s okay to call her fat and other names but not okay for her to use the word black to describe Michael Sam when he in fact black. Right or wrong, just saying it seems hypocritical.

  41. coco Temur says

    Yep. “You’re ugly” would never be as bad as “you’re a N*”, i.e. you are my slave and I will beat you until you serve me the way you are meant/bought to do. Or “you’re a F*”, i.e. your sexual orientation is against nature and that deity man made so I could be stupid and follow.
    True story.

  42. Ricco says

    There is only one Ricco on this site. So if you disagree with what I have to say, please do me the courtesy of adressing me with civility.

    I have a view, the view being that there are times that the “N” word, or the “F” word is are apt.

    I never attacked anyone on Towleroad. I certainly did not approve of Paula Deems bigotry, or her comparing herself to the “unnmaed” “Black” football player.

    I introduced into the conversation this new era of political correctness that I feel has gone beyond addressing bigotry, and sweapt it under the rug, creating a facade (plausible deniability) behind which bigots can hide, can couch their bigotry in polite terms.

    I have not attacked a group of people, or used a word to define an entire group of people by the actions of one person.

    I used a pejorative to describe specific people, and their behavior, and I defended, with courtesy, my position without disparaging others, or with the intent to purposely incite anger and outrage in others.

    I see much commentary on bigotry, and the ugliness and inappropriateness of the “N” word, which I assume must well up within people as a mark of decenct behavior and polite society, yet because I suggest that these words may be apt to certain and specific INDIVIDUALS within our society, because I challenge the hypocrisy of a politically correct society, several people choose to be impolite, and stepped as if to prove my point by calling me a TROLL, by NOT even engaging me in courteous discourse.

    TROLL! That’s a word I have always hated. I hate it more than the N” word, and the “F” word because in my generation it was used by young gay men to describe and denigrate older gay men.

    I detest disloyalty, and that is whay I hate the word TROLL, because with all that gay men had to contend with from the larger, heterobased hegemony, they now had a gay hegemony with which to contend, and far more insidious and cruel than the heterobased hegemony, because given the natural order of things, the transience and entropy of life, it was one they could never hope to breach.

    I have commented here on Towleroad many times over the years. I have had many people who agreed, and even applauded my efforts to engage with the Towleroad community, and sometimes people who have disagreed with me, but never before with such discourtesy, or lack of discernment.

    What I suggest is a society that moves beyond brands, titles, makeup, bandages, phoney politeness, and replace all of that with love and concern for a genuine feeling of appreciation between peoples.

    No one here called me a Fa***t, but some here treated me like I was, and that is the very point I was making.

    People are all about not SAYING the words, but their actions still show they are THINKING the words.

    How a person behaves will always carry more weight with me than what they say.

  43. Mike says


    No, I didn’t want to get my ass beat. Nor did I want to hear the word f@ggot 500 times after hearing the word n!gga 500 times.

  44. Here'sYourSign says

    @Ricco The two Ricco comments that I alluded to seemed disparate. If they were both yours, so be it. Wether or not I’m being trolled is hard to discern here and thusly won’t unduly worry about it.

  45. Juanista says

    Love the hypocrisy and double standards on here.

    “Cracker cow” is totally fine to say. Totally fine. No one cares. Totally acceptable.

  46. Ricco says


    Instead of trying so hard to be snarky within the parameters of a tweet, try reading what people have to say with an open heart, and mind.

    My comments were NOT disparate, rather nuanced. They reflect a man who has lived awhile, seen a lot pain, and experienced a lot of personal heartache, who has looked at this sad world we live in, and thought it very old one moment, and very young the next.

    Most people @HERE’SYOURSIGN . . . are not one dimensional in their thinking or their world views, even though they talk as if they were.

    Most people, while passionate, and ibued with strong opinions and feelings they often express as opinion, are conflicted. The greatest literary characters have always been so, as have the greatest historical thinkers, or in my case, the humblest of people.

    I am a Christian, but I despise much of Christianity, and Christian behavior.

    I am a Quaker, yet struggle with violent thoughts.

    To paraphrase G.K. Chesteron, can I hate the things I see (Christianity, my country, the gay community) enough to change it, yet love them enough to think them worth changing?”
    (Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton).

    Not all of us have it all figured out, not even ourselves, but still manage to offer a little more than one dimensional snarky comebacks to people who are really seeking, not just the correct answers, but the correct questions.

    Peace be with you

  47. Randy says

    She wants to be known as a white cook, not a racist, disgraced white cook !! Just like the homophobes who preach against gays are probably closet queens, Paula probably just wants a big black c@ck !

  48. Ricco says


    I talked as if I were speaking to an intelligent, articulate person(s), capable of stringing more than ten to fifteen words; but I predicted your reply would be snarky, and within the parameters of a tweet.

    It’s sad, and not at all adorable when a person you don’t even know can be so predictable, and you accomplish it without even trying.

  49. Here'sYourSign says

    @Ricco I had my say about Paula Deen pages ago and there is no need to expand on that. As for you, it’s only the sound of your own voice that’s important and the verbiage only adds to the dulcet tones of your delusions of grandeur.

  50. Mags says

    @RICCO, tl;dr. Also, you cannot honnestly write self-indulgent commentary longer than the articles themselves, while trying to motivate your right to biggottry just because you call hateful words ADJECTIVES (!! well they are, but that doesn’t make them less hateful) , and expect people to take you seriously? Why you’re sounding just as self-unaware as Ms. Deen herself now. But without the accent. 😀

  51. Here'sYourSign says


    I apologize, earlier I thought the Riccos were trolling each other. Apparently, I was incorrect. Maybe. IDK. LOL

  52. Mags says

    By 21sr Century interweb commentary standards, @RICCO is trolling judging by the length of his self-indulgent essays. Did he/she try for a writer’s position and did not get it perhaps? If so, should probably aim for connecting with the readers, not make have them eyeroll to death. 😉

  53. TKinSC says

    LOL it’s like a Rubik’s cube. “Awesome she supports gay rights now. Aw crap she’s a racist again!”

  54. Frank says

    I don’t know why people want to act like she said racist comments 20 or 40 years ago, when in the deposition for the discrimination case it was revealed that she said them as lat as 2007. Also, can we please stop with the excuses about how she’s from a different time, and that’s just how older southern women are. She’s in her 60’s not her 80’s which mean she should have sound mind enough to know better and not say such idiotic things. Then again, I don’t know why I’m even arguing this point on this blog, when from what I’ve seen most gay men I’ve met could give a damn about fighting racism.

  55. Sean says

    So she tried to say she wants to be known as Paula Deen, celebrity chef, instead of Paula Deen racist celebrity chef in the same way Michael Sam wants to be known as a football player, not a gay football player. Boy did she say that wrong, and even saying it right it sounds bigoted. Being racist and being gay don’t really compare. One of them is a really ugly choice, the other isn’t a choice at all.