According to a report Tuesday on TMZ.com, Laila Ali did her best to avoid controversy when confronted over the Paula Deen issue, something her father was never afraid of.
TMZ asked the daughter of the former heavyweight champion, and a champion in her own right, if her opinion of Paula Deen had changed since the disgraced chef admitted to having used racial slurs in the past.
Laila Ali is an acquaintance of Paula Deen, having appeared on her show “Paula’s Best Dishes” a couple of months ago, before it was pulled off the air.
“No,” Ali replied to the question. “I don’t know much about her other than that she’s a good cook and I still feel that way.”
Ali, who had her husband in tow while being questioned, tried to laugh off the questions, when TMZ followed up by asking whether or not she thought Paula Deen should still be cooking.
“She’s going to cook, regardless,” Ali said of the cooking icon.
Deen admitted in a June deposition that she had used the N-word in her past. With this information, The Food Network decided to not renew her contract, and several companies who had used her to endorse their products also dropped her.
Laila Ali originally appeared on Paula Deen’s show in April, when they teamed up to cook some Cloverleaf rolls, Brussels sprouts, cheese grits and stewed beef.
It was obvious when the TMZ crew rolled up, that Ali wanted to avoid being part of the controversy at all costs. Muhammad Ali, on the other hand, was much different than his daughter, often embracing controversy, especially in matters he felt strongly about. “The Greatest” even went to jail over his refusal to report for military service back in 1967.
Laila Ali last fought in 2007 and finished her career with a 24-0 record. Since her departure from the sport, women’s boxing has waned in popularity.