Medical doctors advise Macon Bacon baseball staff to drop identify for well being causes

Brandon Raphael was trying by his staff’s mail earlier this month when he got here throughout a big envelope. Inside was a letter from medical doctors urging his collegiate summer season baseball staff — the Georgia-based Macon Bacon — to think about their followers’ well being.

“Macon Bacon’s glorification of bacon, a processed meat that raises the danger of colorectal most cancers and different ailments, sends the mistaken message,” it acknowledged, urging Raphael to alter the identify. The letter was signed by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a D.C.-based nonprofit group that promotes plant-based diets.

Raphael, president of the Macon Bacon, initially thought the letter was a joke. However the group’s stance grew to become even clearer days later, when it posted a billboard on the primary freeway in Macon, Ga., that learn, “Macon: Preserve Bacon Off Your Plate.”

Raphael mentioned he rejects the claims about the Macon Bacon glorifying bacon. On Friday, he held a information convention on the staff’s stadium in hopes of ending the controversy.

“Macon Bacon might be scorching ceaselessly and won’t think about a reputation change ever,” Raphael declared as supporters cheered.

The identify, which followers chosen from a ballot when the staff was created in 2017, has come to mirror the staff’s lighthearted and playful spirit, Raphael instructed The Washington Put up. It isn’t supposed to endorse the cured meat, he added.

“Everyone loves the identify, and we do, too,” Raphael mentioned.

Macon hosted a minor league staff for a few century earlier than the Macon Braves moved to Rome, Ga., in 2003.

In 2017, baseball returned to the town with a summer season collegiate staff, which hosts school gamers from throughout the USA for just a few months yearly.

The group requested followers to recommend staff names. After receiving nearly 1,500 submissions, the membership narrowed its choices to Macon Bacon, Macon Warmth, Macon Hits, Macon Noise and Macon Soul. Macon Bacon received an internet ballot by a landslide, Raphael mentioned, and was announced as the official team name in September 2017.

The staff later revealed its mascot: a 7-foot-tall strip of bacon named Kevin, in honor of the actor Kevin Bacon. Staff who supplied leisure between innings have been named the “Sizzle Squad.” And the staff’s hats and jerseys bear letters and numbers that look like bacon strips.

Followers can get in on the bacon theme, too. On the concession stand, the choices embody bacon wrapped in additional bacon and bacon-loaded fries, and bacon might be added to some other merchandise on the menu.

Raphael, 46, mentioned it’s all in good enjoyable. However the Physicians Committee for Accountable Medication mentioned there may very well be severe penalties.

Anna Herby, the committee’s vitamin training program supervisor, has labored with dozens of sufferers with most cancers. She needs they’d been educated in regards to the risks of processed meats.

On June 1, Herby wrote the letter suggesting that Raphael change the staff’s identify to “Macon Facon Bacon,” referring to a vegetarian version of the food. She referenced analysis that discovered that consuming bacon can improve the danger of colorectal, pancreatic and prostate cancers, cardiovascular disease and dying.

“Bacon is so fashionable, and we simply don’t hear sufficient in regards to the dangers of sure meals,” Herby instructed The Put up. “What we do is simply do our greatest to alter that atmosphere in order that it’s simpler for folks to make these wholesome decisions.”

On June 6, the committee raised the anti-bacon billboard on Interstate 16, together with a picture of a cranium above a house plate.

Raphael mentioned he didn’t plan to answer the letter, however as news outlets reported on the controversy, he made a press release.

“We’re right here for our followers,” Raphael mentioned Friday. “We’re right here for our group. And we’re right here for bacon.”

Herby didn’t count on a right away identify change, however she hopes the staff will a minimum of supply followers extra plant-based meals choices.

“Persons are upset once they be taught that bacon isn’t wholesome, however I hope that it vegetation a seed for perhaps someday down the street,” Herby mentioned. “When persons are able to make modifications, they’ll keep in mind the dangers and know that there are more healthy choices.”

The Macon Bacon isn’t the one sports activities staff going through requires change from the physicians group. It just lately mentioned the Indianapolis 500, the place champions pour milk on themselves, and the Milwaukee Milkmen, an unbiased baseball staff, have been glorifying the beverage.

Lately, dozens of sports activities groups have modified mascots lengthy thought of offensive, together with the Washington Commanders and the Cleveland Guardians. However no outstanding groups have altered their names due to food-related well being considerations.

That received’t change anytime quickly. The Macon Bacon bought out all of its 3,256 tickets earlier than its final house recreation on Saturday.

“Bacon is ceaselessly,” Raphael mentioned. “And that’s the place we’re at.”

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