‘Ozempig’ remains Minnesota baseball team’s mascot despite uproar that name is form of fat-shaming

Mar 29, 2024, 8:55 AM

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

The St. Paul Saints quickly found out that not everyone was amused by the pig’s name, Ozempig, or the team’s posting of a backstory about the pig’s embarrassment at gaining weight and promise to try to remain trim.

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

Sean Aronson, the Saints’ vice president and media relations director, said the team only wanted an amusing, topical name for its pig when it chose Ozempig from nearly 2,300 entries in its “Name the Pig Contest.” 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 how they feel is wrong,” Aronson said. “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.”

Ozempic is among several new drugs that been effective at helping people lose significant weight. The drugs can be expensive, depending on insurance coverage, but have drawn extensive attention in part because the 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 (16 kilometers) from the much larger home of the Minnesota Twins in downtown Minneapolis. The animal carries out balls to the umpire and over the course of the summer becomes noticeably larger — so much larger in fact that another young pig takes over duties midway through the season.

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

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

Aronson said team officials understood why some people are outraged and considered making a name change but decided to stick with Ozempig.

“We knew how we originally came up with the name and we’re good with it but we did discuss it and decided we’re going to keep it,” he said.

United States News

Associated Press

Sweeping gun legislation awaits final votes as Maine lawmakers near adjournment

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Maine Legislature moved in fits and starts toward adjournment on Wednesday, with unfinished business including final votes on a series of gun safety bills that were introduced after the deadliest shooting in state history last fall. The Senate was awaiting an enactment vote on the governor’s gun safety proposals that […]

4 minutes ago

Associated Press

How many ballerinas can dance on tiptoes in one place? A world record 353 at New York’s Plaza Hotel

NEW YORK (AP) — Hundreds of young dancers in white tutus and tightly coiffed hair gathered in New York’s Plaza Hotel on Wednesday to break the world record for dancing on pointe in one place. The spectacle was organized by Youth America Grand Prix, a ballet scholarship program that is celebrating its 25th anniversary with […]

12 minutes ago

Associated Press

Lab chief faces sentencing in Michigan 12 years after fatal US meningitis outbreak

HOWELL, Mich. (AP) — Days after a routine injection to ease back pain, Donna Kruzich and a friend drove across the border to Canada in 2012 to see end-of-summer theater in Stratford, Ontario. The 78-year-old Michigan woman suddenly became ill and returned home. By early October, she was dead. “Most of the time she could […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Police confirm Missouri officer fired fatal shot that killed man who allegedly shot another man

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — A Ferguson, Missouri, police officer fired the fatal shot that killed at man at a gas station in the St. Louis suburb, police said Wednesday. The shooting happened just before 1:30 a.m. Tuesday at a convenience store. Police said 26-year-old Detarius Haynes and 18-year-old Joshua Campbell were in a vehicle that […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Senator’s son pleads not guilty to charges from crash that killed North Dakota sheriff’s deputy

WASHBURN, N.D. (AP) — The adult son of U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer pleaded not guilty Wednesday to homicide and other charges in connection with a Dec. 6 crash that killed a North Dakota sheriff’s deputy. Ian Cramer, 43, waived his preliminary hearing and entered his not guilty plea to felony charges of homicide while fleeing […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Alabama lawmakers advance bills to ensure Joe Biden is on the state’s ballot

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama lawmakers advanced legislation Wednesday to ensure President Joe Biden will appear on the state’s November ballot, mirroring accommodations made four years ago for then-President Donald Trump. Legislative committees in the Alabama House of Representatives and Senate approved identical bills that would push back the state’s certification deadline from 82 days […]

3 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

‘Ozempig’ remains Minnesota baseball team’s mascot despite uproar that name is form of fat-shaming