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“Ozempig” remains the mascot of the Minnesota baseball team despite outcry that the name is a form of shaming


For a Minnesota minor league baseball team known for its history of extravagant promotions, the idea of ​​naming its longtime live pig mascot after the weight-loss drug Ozempic made perfect sense.

The St. Paul Saints quickly discovered that not everyone was amused by the pig’s name, Ozempig, or by the team’s publication of a story about the pig’s discomfort with gaining weight and the promise to try to stay in shape.

Almost immediately after the team announced its name this week ahead of Saturday’s opener, criticism began pouring in on social media from people upset by the name, calling it hurtful and insensitive .

Sean Aronson, vice president and director of media relations for the Saints, said the team just wanted a fun, topical name for its pig when it chose Ozempig from nearly 2,300 applications in the its “Name the Pig Competition”. Team officials were shocked that so many people found the name offensive, Aronson said.

“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 what they feel is wrong,” he said. Aronson said. “But I can tell you there was no ill intent, there was no malice, there wasn’t even a discussion in the room when we discussed the name, hey, that might offend some people.”

Ozempic is one of several new medications that are effective in helping people lose weight significantly. The drugs can be expensive, depending on insurance coverage, but have attracted widespread attention in part because they have been promoted by celebrities and on social media sites.

The Saints Pig is a beloved participant in the team’s games played at CHS Field in downtown St. Paul, about 10 miles from the much larger home of the Minnesota Twins in downtown St. Paul. Minneapolis. The animal feeds balls to the referee, and over the summer it becomes noticeably larger, so much so that another young pig takes over in the middle of the season.

Naming the pig mascot after the much-publicized drug seemed natural for the Saints, a Triple-A affiliate of the Twins that has a long history of fun promotions, like attaching a fan to a Velcro wall in the outfield and hosting races in the infield between people dressed as giant eyeballs.

With such past stunts in mind, some Saints fans defended the name as a pun and nothing more.

Aronson said team officials understood why some people were outraged and considered changing their name, but decided to stick with Ozempig.

“We knew how we originally came up with the name and we accept it, but we discussed it and decided to keep it,” he said.


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