Paula Deen: I'm Just Like That Black Football Player

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on February 27 2014 2:23 PM ET

Paula Deen knows Michael Sam's pain.

The former Food Network star was forced out of her cooking-show gig last year after it was revealed that she used racist language in the workplace in the past.

In an interview with People magazine, Deen said she was "fighting to get her name back" after dealing with the scandal, according to The Wrap.

"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," she said. "I don't want to be known as a gay football player.' I know exactly what he's saying. I'm fighting to get my name back."