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The St. Paul Saints, a Minnesota minor league baseball team known for its outlandish promotions, recently faced criticism for naming its longtime live pig mascot after the weight loss drug Ozempic. The pig was named Ozempig, and a backstory was posted about the pig’s embarrassment at gaining weight and promise to try to remain trim. The team received backlash on social media, with many people finding the name hurtful and insensitive. Despite the uproar, Sean Aronson, the Saints’ vice president and media relations director, emphasized that there was no ill-intent or maliciousness behind the name and that it was chosen simply as an amusing, topical option.

The controversy arose after the team announced the pig’s new name ahead of the opening day game. Aronson explained that they selected Ozempig from nearly 2,300 entries in a “Name the Pig Contest” with the goal of finding a fun and engaging name for the mascot. While some fans defended the name as a harmless play on words, others expressed outrage, prompting the team to consider a potential name change. Ultimately, the team decided to keep the name Ozempig despite the controversy, standing by their original intention and understanding the concerns of those who found it offensive.

Ozempic is a weight loss drug that has garnered attention for its effectiveness in helping people lose significant weight. The drug, along with other medications in the same category, has been promoted by celebrities and on social media platforms. The decision to name the pig mascot after such a high-profile drug was seen as fitting for the Saints, who have a history of creative and entertaining promotions during their games. The pig’s role at CHS Field in downtown St. Paul, carrying balls to the umpire and becoming noticeably larger over the season, is a beloved tradition among fans.

Despite the backlash, the Saints have maintained that their intention was not to offend anyone and that the name Ozempig was chosen in good faith. Aronson acknowledged the differing opinions surrounding the name but emphasized that there was no malicious intent behind it. While some fans may see the name as a harmless joke, others have pointed out the potential insensitivity and harm it could cause. The team’s decision to retain the name reflects their commitment to their original choice and their belief that it was meant to be lighthearted and entertaining, rather than hurtful or offensive.

Moving forward, the Saints will continue to feature Ozempig as their live pig mascot, upholding the tradition and entertainment value that the pig brings to their games. While the controversy surrounding the name may have sparked debate and criticism, the team remains steadfast in their decision to keep the name and focus on providing fans with a fun and memorable experience. Despite the initial backlash, the Saints have stood by their choice and are dedicated to maintaining the positive spirit and entertaining atmosphere that their promotions are known for, both on and off the field.

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