For those who haven’t seen, Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton on WFAN stirred up some controversy this morning regarding Daniel Murphy‘s paternity leave this week, criticizing him for taking time off after his son was born. Murphy is expected to be back with the team on Thursday, but has been away from the team since the weekend.
“Now it’s one thing to want to be there for the birth of your child, which everyone of us totally supported one hundred percent… nobody can argue that, right?” said Carton, “…Assuming the birth went well, assuming your wife is fine, assuming the baby is fine… 24 hours… you get your ass back to your team and play baseball.” Esiason joined in, pointing out that Murphy is federally guaranteed two weeks, but then claimed Murphy should have scheduled the birth before the season started.
The radio duo normally make a great pair that is fun to listen to, but they are dead wrong on this one. In terms of family values, they are really dating themselves. That’s the type of rhetoric from forty and fifty years ago, not in today’s world. Paternity leave rights are expanding around the world, and in many European countries, new fathers can take leave just as long as new mothers.
There are only so many times in his life that a man can spend the first days of his child’s life with them, but there are 162 baseball games per year. Murphy will play over one thousand over the course of his career.
There are also numerous seriously anti-feminist tones in what the two of them said, but this blog is not the place to dive deep into those kind of social issues.
It’s critical to remember that baseball is a means of entertainment. Daniel Murphy is an entertainer. Staying with his wife a few extra days, or even a few extra weeks will not endanger any lives or property. He is not a public servant as Esiason and Carton imply. There is nothing critical that Murphy will miss by opting to spend time with his child. What’s more important, satisfying 25,000 New Yorkers who will boo him the instant his batting average drops below .250, or spending time with his first child? The answer should be obvious to everyone, but apparently it isn’t.
A long baseball career lasts ten to fifteen years. Fatherhood lasts a lifetime. Go ahead Murphy. Use every minute you are entitled to.