Following the Paula Deen PR crisis last summer, the celebrity chef is now back in the media limelight with statements that are once again causing a stir.

In a recent interview with People magazine, Deen reportedly likened herself to Missouri football star Michael Sam, who recently disclosed that he is gay and may become the first openly gay player in the NFL.

“I feel like ’embattled’ or ‘disgraced’ will always follow my name. It’s like that black football player who recently came out,” Deen said. “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’s controversial comments generated some heavy criticism on both traditional and social media due the chef’s comparison of herself to Sam who has been praised as a brave trailblazer. Deen’s reference of Sam as “that black football player” also upset many and certainly didn’t help the celebrity chef disassociate herself from the racial epithets that fueled last year’s Paula Deen image crisis.

As Deen moves forward with the launch of her new Paula Deen Ventures, the long term damage to her reputation remains to be seen. Follow the RBG blog for the latest updates.