A trio of sports radio pundits made awful comments in reaction to New York Mets’ Daniel Murphy’s recent paternity leave. Their ugly, ignorant remarks are a disgrace and need to be repudiated in the strongest possible terms
The wife of NY Mets’ second baseman Daniel Murphy went into labor just before Opening Day. He missed their first game of the season and may miss one or two more. As I’ve written about before, MLB is the first major league sport to provide players with up to 72 hours of paternity leave. I am on record that this policy sends an important public signal about the importance of fatherhood.
Within baseball, there is near-universal support for paternity leave. Among fans and the public, there is also widespread, albeit not universal, support for paternity leave. And, in fact, Murphy is one of three players to avail himself of paternity leave since the season began (Carl Crawford and Jimmy Rollins have as well, to no real criticism).
However, today, three idiots with huge media platforms (WFAN radio, YES Network and Fox Sports)—Mike Francesa, Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton—criticized Daniel Murphy and his wife in some of the most Neanderthal terms possible. From HardBallTalk’s Craig Calcaterra:
…in Esiason’s words, Murphy should “get his ass back to work.” Boomer also says that Murphy’s wife should’ve had a C-section before the season started so Murphy didn’t miss any time…
For his part, Mike Francesa called paternity leave “a scam-and-a-half” and started ranting about the very concept of paternity leave.
Paternity leave has been shown to have a number of huge benefits, including, but not limited to, helping forge stronger family bonds and benefiting women who desire to go back into the workforce following the birth of their children. At least one study has shown that the lack of paternal involvement in infant care is significantly associated with the intensity of maternal postpartum depression.
Maybe a rich professional athlete’s partner has financial and personal resources great enough to where the father’s absence can be made up for in part, thereby limiting the necessity of paternity leave compared to that of normal people. But mocking an athlete for taking paternity leave like this is to mock the very concept of paternity leave altogether and to make it seem that much more unacceptable for men to do the right thing and be there for their child and its mother at the most critical of times (emphasis mine).
While it’s ridiculous that anyone listens to these yakkers and takes anything approaching an example from them, the fact is that many do. Shame on these neanderthals for mocking paternity leave in general and Daniel Murphy specifically.
First, off, way to go Craig Calcaterra! I completely agree with him that paternity leave is good for dads, mom, kids, families and society. It is especially important considering most dads, at best, cobble together 1-2 weeks of unpaid leave and many have no real options to arrange for more time.
Second, shame on Francesa, Esiason, and Carton. Not everyone has to be on board with supporting fathers and families, I guess. However, it crosses the line to suggest that someone have an un-needed major surgery, with all of the attendant risks to mother and baby, to uphold some outdated model of masculinity. Simply disgusting.
As a NY sports fan, I have listened to these guys a fair amount over the past few years. Never again. I’m done with them. We should all do the same.
What do you think about paternity leave? These idiots’ comments? Let’s discuss in the comments section.
Article originally appeared on FathersWorkandFamily.com