Minor league baseball team accused of insensitivity for naming mascot after weight-loss drug

News & Politics

A minor league baseball team in Minnesota will keep the name of its pig mascot despite an outcry on social media about possible insensitivity.

The St. Paul Saints, a Triple-A club affiliated with the Minnesota Twins, have had a new pig with its own unique name as a mascot every year ever since the team moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1992. Over the years, fans have submitted fun and creative suggestions for the team’s oinker: Notorious P.I.G. – Piggy Smalls in 2003, Daenerys Hoggaryen in 2019, and 867530Swine in 2022.

This year was no different. After careful consideration, the team selected OzemPig, a play on the name of the popular weight-loss drug Ozempic. In a statement to announce the name, the team even offered a cute backstory, claiming that Saints’ pigs often feel “self-conscious” about gaining weight but that this year’s mascot decided “a change was in order.”

“After a visit to his doctor, who was extremely worried about his cholesterol and heart, OzemPig vowed to change his lifestyle,” the statement explained.

OzemPig, suggested by Sara Blood of Minneapolis, beat out other tough contenders among the 2,300 submissions this year, which included Sloppenheimer, Porky Blinders, Malibu Lardie, and Artifisqueal Intelligence. However, as the team has recently decided to have a different mascot for the first half and second half of the season, OzemPig will “show off his abs and defined hocks” for crowds gathered at CHS Field only until July.

Though the name is all in good fun, some scolds on social media slammed the team for insensitivity. One user called the name OzemPig “offensive.” Another asked, “How do you think fat people will feel showing up to your games?” Yet another threatened never to take their family to a game again on account of it: “Mean-spirited and gross. Why be a bully when you could just be kind? That’s what I tell my kids I take to your games anyways. Change this or that won’t happen anymore.”

Despite those objections, executives in the front office are standing by their pig and its supposedly controversial name. “We knew how we originally came up with the name and we’re good with it,” said Sean Aronson, the Saints’ vice president and media relations director, “but we did discuss it and decided we’re going to keep it.”

“In today’s world, people don’t want to be diminished. They don’t want to be made to feel a certain way, and I’m not going to tell them how they feel is wrong,” Aronson added. “But I can tell you there was no ill-intent, there was no maliciousness, there was never even a discussion in the room when we were going over the name that hey, this may offend some people.”

Novo Nordisk, which manufactures and markets Ozempic, did not respond to Blaze News’ request for comment.

The Saints were all set to kick off their season on Friday with a home game against the Columbus Clippers, but a springtime blizzard, which dumped 18 inches of snow in the area earlier this week, meant that the field will not be ready for play until the afternoon game against the Clippers on Saturday.

Last year, the Saints finished in first place in the West Division of the International League with an impressive 84-64 regular-season record. The Clippers finished dead last.

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