Why We’re Thrilled a Baseball Player Took Paternity Leave

posted on April 17, 2014 at 11:32 am

Everyone’s heard of maternity leave.

But paternity leave?

That’s not something typically found in our society. Though things are changing, it still falls on the mother to care for a child when it is born. This makes sense, as the mother feeds and nurtures the child, but that doesn’t mean the dad is utterly useless. It’s important for a father to bond with his offspring when it is born, to be there to comfort it and love it during its first few fragile days. To us, paternity leave is a great idea that gives the dad this opportunity.

Which is the main reason we are super stoked that New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy decided to take three days of paternity leave after his son was born.


Unfortunately, the timing of the baby’s birth also coincided with the start of the Mets’ season, meaning he had to miss the first two games. He was torn apart for this by several different radio hosts and media personalities, including Boomer Esiason and Mike Francesa.

“I mean, what would you possibly be doing?” said Francesa during his broadcast on WFAN. “I guarantee you’re not sitting there holding your wife’s hand.”

“One day, I understand,” he said. “Go see the baby be born, and come back. You’re a major league baseball player, you can hire a nurse.”

paternity leave baseball

What these obviously uneducated people don’t realize is that paternity leave is more than just sitting around staring at a baby. It’s about learning to care for your new child and not dumping all that responsibility on the child’s mother. 

Putting their foolish opinions aside, there is some good to come of this outrage. Paternity leave is finally getting the media attention it deserves.

The United States is one of the few countries in the world that does not provide paid leave for fathers when a child is born. Only 11 percent of companies in the United States offer this to their employees. If we want that to change, people have to start talking about it.

Because Esiason and Francesa mentioned it on their shows, it is now gaining national attention among demographics that normally wouldn’t give credence to such issues. Instead of being limited to parents, a whole new generation of people are being introduced to the idea of men getting paternity leave to care for their child.

And the best part? Most of these newcomers to the cause agree that Esiason and Francesa are full of it.

baseball paternity leave

Many male callers rang in during Francesa’s show to defend the idea of taking time off to be a dad:

“Society has come to a point where we recognize this is one of the most important milestones and it’s important to be with your family,” said one caller.

“For you to say ‘oh it’s okay, let’s throw some money at a nurse and have them take care of the kid,’ and not let Daniel Murphy take two days in the beginning of the season is crazy,” said another caller. “He’s learning prenatal care, he’s learning how to take care of the baby. He plays a 162 game season, he wants to spend time with his family.”

It’s great to see such support for an issue that had been out of the spotlight until recently. Here’s to hoping that something will come of it.

baseball paternity leave

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