Should pro athletes take paternity leave?

posted at 4:01 pm on April 3, 2014 by Allahpundit

This is now enough of a national controversy to warrant coverage on “The Today Show,” and yet there’s a problem. It involves the wrong guy in the wrong sport on emphatically the wrong team. If you really want sports yakkers and mommy bloggers at each other’s throats, you need a superstar from the NFL or NBA taking paternity leave before a big game, not the second baseman from New York’s Other Team sitting out three days at the start of a year in which they’re expected to be terrible (again). No one cares about that except people who are paid to do so, which explains why the “Today Show” online poll on this was running 97/3 in Murphy’s favor as of 1 p.m. ET. Frankly, I’d support giving him three days’ leave for no particular reason. When you play for the Mets, those aren’t “days off.” That’s parole.

Imagine, though, this were RG III deciding to skip the NFC Championship Game to spend extra time in the maternity ward with his new bundle of joy. Acceptable? What if it was the Super Bowl? It’s fun trying to game out when, precisely, a three-day absence moves from a touching gesture of filial bonding cheered by sports fans to a dereliction of duty that should probably result in the guy being traded in the offseason. In September, if the Mets are in a pennant race? In the postseason? If Murphy’s chasing some record? For all the abuse Esiason and Francesa are taking for the clips below, there is a point at which the balance of equities in a sports fan’s imagination would shift and Boomer’s idea about a conveniently-timed C-section would start sounding not so goofy. What is it?



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If they took paternity leave, some guys would never even see playing time given how many groupies they tend to knock up. Yeah, Travis Henry, I was thinking of you.

JimLennon on April 3, 2014 at 4:06 PM

Must be a slow news day if this classifies as a post…

PatriotRider on April 3, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Baseball player?

Take three games off. Big deal. No single game matters.

Football player? Take any and all practices off, but unless your wife is delivering the day of the game, be at the game. You can fly back immediately following the game. (Simply a matter of the few number of games.)

Basketball player? See baseball player.

Hockey player? See baseball player. And then divide the games importance by two.

Golf? Oh, sorry, we were talking about athletes. Never mind.

makattak on April 3, 2014 at 4:10 PM

Must be a slow news day if this classifies as a post…

PatriotRider on April 3, 2014 at 4:08 PM

It is. And we post offbeat palate-cleanser-type stuff all the time.

Allahpundit on April 3, 2014 at 4:11 PM

Should pro athletes take paternity leave?

This would make sense if they were not stinking rich to begin with. It’s not like they are going to clean house, prepare meals, wash clothes or take care of the baby. They don’t do that for the rest of the child’s life for the most part, they pay people to, so why do it for the 1st few days or weeks? Symbolic gesture? PR?

Rocks on April 3, 2014 at 4:15 PM

wooooow it is really, really, really sad that people are actually criticizing him for this. some people are WAY too into sports, honestly. it’s just creepy.

I don’t know why you need three days off, I’m going to be honest. You see the birth and you get back. What do you do in the first couple days?

i can’t even…

the stupidity of some people, to feel the need to say something like that! it’s funny, yet sad.

Golf? Oh, sorry, we were talking about athletes. Never mind.

makattak on April 3, 2014 at 4:10 PM

ha!!

Sachiko on April 3, 2014 at 4:20 PM

Should pro athletes take paternity leave?

Aren’t they smart enough to read their contracts to see if such a benefit is in there?

More to the point, the regular season is only so long, so I can’t see how this is even a problem at all.

nobar on April 3, 2014 at 4:20 PM

It seems to me that those most aggrieved by the actions of the NY Mets and Daniel Murphy are those who need to create something to assist the ole ratings.

As far as I’ve seen / read, his employer, the NY Mets don’t have a problem with Murphy missing 3 out of a 162 game season for the birth of his child. They don’t seem to have a challenge with putting the needs of the family first – or seem to be worried that the team they field will be uncompetitive. (If they did have a problem, they could easily show it.)

Athos on April 3, 2014 at 4:20 PM

Should pro athletes take paternity leave?

…we’ll have to ask Bob Costas…obviously…the athletes…weren’t shooting blanks!

KOOLAID2 on April 3, 2014 at 4:20 PM

Must be a slow news day if this classifies as a post…

PatriotRider on April 3, 2014 at 4:08 PM

My thoughts exactly. This one goes back to the toy store.

MJBrutus on April 3, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Men are delivering babies now?

freedomfirst on April 3, 2014 at 4:21 PM

This would make sense if they were not stinking rich to begin with. It’s not like they are going to clean house, prepare meals, wash clothes or take care of the baby. They don’t do that for the rest of the child’s life for the most part, they pay people to, so why do it for the 1st few days or weeks? Symbolic gesture? PR?

Rocks on April 3, 2014 at 4:15 PM

emotional bonding with his wife and newborn during an extremely important time in their lives did not occur to you??

Sachiko on April 3, 2014 at 4:22 PM

out of wedlock birth rates are so high and we are criticizing this guy for being a present father

blatantblue on April 3, 2014 at 4:22 PM

Taking off for the birth, I can understand.

More than that? Not so much.

Bigbullets on April 3, 2014 at 4:23 PM

Must be a slow news day if this classifies as a post…

PatriotRider on April 3, 2014 at 4:08 PM

It is. And we post offbeat palate-cleanser-type stuff all the time.

Allahpundit on April 3, 2014 at 4:11 PM

…I think PR…was just ‘mimicking’ verbadunce…from earlier today.

KOOLAID2 on April 3, 2014 at 4:23 PM

What was that crazy movie with Schwarzenegger? Junior?

freedomfirst on April 3, 2014 at 4:24 PM

…I think PR…was just ‘mimicking’ verbadunce…from earlier today.

KOOLAID2 on April 3, 2014 at 4:23 PM

Must have missed that…

PatriotRider on April 3, 2014 at 4:26 PM

OT: David Letterman to retire in 2015.

sentinelrules on April 3, 2014 at 4:26 PM

Yes. It is a right the players bargained for in the CBA. They wanted this.

Imagine, though, this were RG III deciding to skip the NFC Championship Game to spend extra time in the maternity ward with his new bundle of joy. Acceptable? What if it was the Super Bowl?

Or say a really, really, really excellent pitcher, say, Mandy Moufax, who happens to be an observant Jew and the World Series coincides with the High Holy Days so he sits out a game.

rbj on April 3, 2014 at 4:27 PM

It is. And we post offbeat palate-cleanser-type stuff all the time.

Allahpundit on April 3, 2014 at 4:11 PM

Not complainin’…just sayin’…

PatriotRider on April 3, 2014 at 4:27 PM

By the way, yes. Notwithstanding my previous snarks, I think a few days should be afforded the new dad to be with mom and baby.

freedomfirst on April 3, 2014 at 4:27 PM

OT: David Letterman to retire in 2015.

sentinelrules on April 3, 2014 at 4:26 PM

To be fair, he’s been “retired” for a couple of decades.

rbj on April 3, 2014 at 4:28 PM

Kind of falls into the category of unionizing college players…

PatriotRider on April 3, 2014 at 4:29 PM

out of wedlock birth rates are so high and we are criticizing this guy for being a present father

blatantblue on April 3, 2014 at 4:22 PM

that is the saddest thing about this controversy.

Sachiko on April 3, 2014 at 4:29 PM

out of wedlock birth rates are so high and we are criticizing this guy for being a present father

blatantblue on April 3, 2014 at 4:22 PM

How true…

PatriotRider on April 3, 2014 at 4:30 PM

out of wedlock birth rates are so high and we are criticizing this guy for being a present father

blatantblue on April 3, 2014 at 4:22 PM

This!

ladyingray on April 3, 2014 at 4:31 PM

Sure, but only if professional wives are allowed time off when the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue is released.

antipc on April 3, 2014 at 4:33 PM

Family comes before ANYTHING else. <Big Fat Period

The only reason to miss the birth of a child is if it is physically imposible to be there, i.e. Military Deployment.

D-fusit on April 3, 2014 at 4:34 PM

If pro athletes start taking paternity leave no franchise in the NBA will be able to field a team.

myiq2xu on April 3, 2014 at 4:36 PM

This is starting to look like Drudge with all the tabloid stuff.

crankyoldlady on April 3, 2014 at 4:37 PM

I can see why a father would want to be present for the birth of his child. Some can’t for good reason. Serving military, etc.

For all the money and attention given to pro sports, the fact is they don’t matter. Nobody dies because one team or another wins or loses. Commerce doesn’t depend on it (other than pro sport).

If the guy wants to be an attentive father and husband, good on him. We need more of those.

trigon on April 3, 2014 at 4:37 PM

OT: David Letterman to retire in 2015.

sentinelrules on April 3, 2014 at 4:26 PM

So he won’t be campaigning for Killery ?
:-(

burrata on April 3, 2014 at 4:39 PM

PatriotRider on April 3, 2014 at 4:26 PM

…(thought “I had your back”!)

KOOLAID2 on April 3, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Shoot, my dad was in Korea the day I was born. He didn’t see me ’til six months later.

SailorMark on April 3, 2014 at 4:54 PM

Even planning a c-section or inducing labor does not go as planned. A couple of years ago, when Josh Hamilton still played for the Rangers, his wife was expecting their fourth daughter in September (ie, the middle of the pennant race – this was the year we went 7 games with the Cardinals in the WS). They had planned to induce his wife’s labor on an off-day so that Josh did not have to take any games off. Ian Kinsler, in contrast, had taken the three days when his wife gave birth, but that was in April at the beginning of the season. However, baby Hamilton was not willing to wait and Josh’s wife went into labor the day of a game. Fortunately, it was a home game, so Josh could be with his wife without having to travel – I think she gave birth either right before or right after game time – so Josh ended up missing that game. I think that was the first year MLB offered the three day paternity leave – Ian was the first person to take it as I recall. In Ian’s case, there were some people talking about why he needed the time when it wasn’t his first child (it was his second), but I like a guy who has his priorities in order.

Alia on April 3, 2014 at 5:19 PM

NO!

gerrym51 on April 3, 2014 at 5:21 PM

Asking the important questions…

Galtian on April 3, 2014 at 5:21 PM

He absolutely should take time off for the birth of his child.

Especially since his wife had a c-section. My first was born via emergency c-section. I threw up during the delivery, I was sore for days afterwards (you feel like your abdomen and all your organs are going to fall on the floor). You can’t lift anything heavier than your baby for at least six weeks. You can’t drive.

If you decide to nurse, you’re chest is sore. You don’t get a lot of sleep with a newborn to begin with and, after a c-section, you don’t get a lot of sleep, period because you can’t usually lay in your normal position (unless you sleep on your back, you’re SOL until you heal).

It sucks.

And. The. Father. Should. Be. There.

To bond. For moral support.

Yeah, maybe they’re well off. But that’s his wife and child.

End of discussion.

Shame on Boomer Esiason and anyone else who took this guy to task for doing the right thing.

englishqueen01 on April 3, 2014 at 5:34 PM

Every now and then you find a pro athlete who isn’t an asshole. Like this one.

BobMbx on April 3, 2014 at 5:47 PM

I’m 100% for Dad being there, but how important it is is all a matter of perspective…. How many soldiers are sitting overseas on deployment when their children are born? or worse, die before they meet their child.

2nd Ammendment Mother on April 3, 2014 at 6:06 PM

C-sections do suck – I know, I’ve had two of ‘em – but I think wives of pro athletes probably need to accept that there’s a price to be paid for the lifestyle they enjoy. Or they need to time their pregnancies so birth happens in the offseason. Of course, if the franchise has no problem with it, far be it from me to judge.

mrsknightley on April 3, 2014 at 6:06 PM

Should pro athletes take paternity leave ? No. Next question?

lel2007 on April 3, 2014 at 6:29 PM

You’d think the guys raking in the big bucks would handle family planning a little better – having your kids in off season seems not too much to expect.

katiejane on April 3, 2014 at 6:35 PM

Daniel Murphy is an OK second baseman, but on the Mets, he’s a star. I’d pay money to send Lucas Duda on paternity leave.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on April 3, 2014 at 8:24 PM

What’s this silliness doing here? Boomer and Carton is a drive-time shock-and-doh! show, driven by Craigy Carton’s channelling of his Tourette’s Syndrome.

njcommuter on April 3, 2014 at 8:25 PM

Without checking, I can not recall if Gunnar Esiason is still alive or not. (He suffers with Cystic Fibrosis) Wikipedia says he is, so I will go with that.

Someone needed to ask that blowhard, how long has he agreed to miss his show if/when Gunnar’s good luck runs out.

For someone whose kid is living on borrowed time, his opinions on parenting smell like bad lutefisk

MunDane68 on April 3, 2014 at 8:44 PM

It should be compulsory.

#progressive

Murphy9 on April 3, 2014 at 9:16 PM

Two words: INDUCE LABOR. Just schedule it on an off day. My wife was gracious enough to schedule our first around a huge concrete pour. Gotta pay the bills!

crowmangler on April 3, 2014 at 11:07 PM

I can’t believe there is even a debate. C-sections are dangerous and should only be performed when the mother or child is in danger. Period. They are not a birth method of convenience, although less than ethical doctors have allowed that use.

Every father should be with the mother of his child at the moment of birth. Important meetings, sporting events(even if that is one’s paid profession) do not override the appropriateness of the father’s presence.

The only exceptions should be deployed military or those in positions where life depends on their continued presence.

What a world.

eaglesdontflock on April 3, 2014 at 11:36 PM

crowmangler on April 3, 2014 at 11:07 PM

Labor should not be induced for convenience. Another less-than-ethical medical twist.

eaglesdontflock on April 3, 2014 at 11:38 PM