LOS ANGELES — Paula Deen says she relates to football player Michael Sam and his desire to avoid being labeled.

In an interview with People magazine, Deen quoted Sam as saying he wants to be known as a football player and not a gay football player. The Missouri All-American Sam recently came out as gay.

Deen said she understands his viewpoint and, in her case, worries the words “embattled” or “disgraced” always will be attached to her name.

Deen’s fortunes fell last year after she admitted during legal proceedings that she had used racial slurs in the past.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.