Should Pro Athletes Be Allowed to Go on Paternity Leave? [AUDIO, POLL]
Taking time to be with your wife after she delivers a baby may be a precious experience, but it may not be one that has a place in the world of sports.
That’s the opinion of Mike Francesa, the legendary afternoon host on New York City’s WFAN. Francesa has started a whirlwind of controversy after he blasted New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy for missing the team’s first two games of the season to be with his wife, who gave birth to their son Monday in Florida.
Francesa went off on the subject on Wednesday, ripping the idea of paternity leave for a solid 20 minutes (which you can hear above):
I don’t know why you need three days off. I’m gonna be honest. You see the birth and you get back. What are you doing the first couple of days? Maybe you take care of the other kids? You gotta have someone do that if you’re a Major League Baseball player. I’m sorry, you do. Because your wife doesn’t need your help the first couple of days. You know that. You’re not doing much those first couple of days with the baby that was just born.”
Francesa, who has three kids, also criticized his own station’s policy of granting fathers 10 days of paternity leave, stating, “That’s ridiculous. What do you need 10 days for? What are you supposed to be doing? Vacationing? What the heck do you need 10 days for?”
He also claims to practice what he preaches. “Harrison [his son] was born at 9 in the morning, and I worked that day. Had the baby at 9, came in and worked at 1. I didn’t have anything to do. I’m being honest. What was I gonna do? Sit in the room with my wife at the hospital?”
Major League Baseball rules allow a player to leave a team for three days for the birth of a child.