The stuff yesterday in which folks reacted negatively to Mets’ second baseman Daniel Murphy going on paternity leave has hit the sports yakkers. Today Craig Carton and Boomer Esiason took on the subject. Their take: 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, saying that Murphy is rich enough to where he should hire a nurse to look after his wife and child.
For their part, the Mets have been nothing but supportive of Murphy. Here’s Terry Collins:
“He missed two games,” the manager said. “It’s not like he has missed ten. When you start attacking Dan Murphy’s credibility, you need to look in the mirror a little bit . . . The man had his first child. He is allowed to be there. The rules state that he can be there, so he went. There is nothing against it. There’s nothing wrong with it.”
Murphy himself took a more diplomatic approach, but made it clear where his priorities stand:
“I can only speak for my experience,” Murphy said. “She was completely finished. She was done. She had had surgery, and she was wiped. So having me there, I think, helped a lot, and vice versa.”
Not that he should have to defend himself. 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.
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.