Okay, I relish the opportunity to tackle this topic because it’s not terribly often the media even discusses paternity leave – maybe because dad’s don’t take it? – but it seems former NFL quarterback turned sport announcer Boomer Esiason thinks New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy was out of order for missing the first two games of the season to be with his wife, who had the temerity to go into labor on opening day.
Yes, it was wretched timing. But it’s not like the woman did it on purpose. To give this poor guy grief because he took two days of paternity leave is brutally insensitive, not to mention patently ridiculous.
CBS News reported Esiason said on his daily WFAN “Boomer and Carton” show, “Quite frankly I would’ve said ‘C-section before the season starts. I need to be at opening day. I’m sorry, this is what makes our money, this is how we’re going to live our life, this is going to give our child every opportunity to be a success in life. I’ll be able to afford any college I want to send my kid to because I’m a baseball player.”
Ummm. Maybe Boomer is unaware of how dangerous C-sections can be for mothers and babies, especially when they are performed unnecessarily. A mother-friend of mine pointed out rightly that it’s not like having a bad tooth pulled; it’s major surgery.
Maybe Boomer’s right. Maybe being a baseball player and its accompanying salary is more important than seeing your baby come into the world, than being there to hold your wife’s hand and kiss her red-faced, pain contorted, profusely sweating brow while she gives you the most important gift anyone can give anyone, a child. But you know, if something tragic happened as a result of a convenience C-section, college tuition probably wouldn’t be top of mind would it?
And if the League, which instituted a three-day paternity leave in 2011, says it’s okay, who is Boomer to say different? Mind your own business; stop making dads feel bad for starting out a life journey on the right foot; and change your childish ass name.
This blog also appeared in Diversity Executive magazine online.