Daniel Murphy missed the first 2 games of the season to witness the birth of his first child and spend a couple of days on paternity leave. Yesterday he took a beating from Boomer Esiason, Craig Carton and Mike Francesa for doing it. All of them basically saying “you’re a professional so go do you job”. I don’t blame them for their opinions but strongly disagree with them.
In Esiason’s sport, football, it’s much easier for an expectant father to schedule around a game. Although teams practice all week there’s only one game a week. Sure missing a day of practice is not a good thing but it’s not as bad as missing a game. (I won’t discuss Carton because, honestly, I don’t listen enough to know where he’s coming from.)
And don’t get me started on Francesa, whose ideas about almost everything are archaic and often times contradictory. I still can’t understand how a guy like that has managed to stay on the air this long but that’s a different discussion.
Regardless of these points we live in times where this is how paternity is done. Most companies have policies that allow new fathers some time off upon the birth or, at some companies, the adoption of a child. This is a common thing. If I would expect to take some time off for a child how could I criticize Murphy for doing the same thing? Why is his team any different than the team I work with? We both work with teams trying to get a job done. Finances aside (as Murphy is obviously being paid much more than I am) why is his team any different than mine?
Esiason, Carton and Francesa are off base here. The only thing appalling is that Murphy needs to defend himself in the face of this sad criticism. As annoyed as I may have been that Murphy wasn’t available for the games he missed (simply because you don’t want to be down a player) I don’t blame Murphy a bit for taking the time off.