Sports Radio Host Slams Daniel Murphy's Paternity Leave, Like a Hypocrite

Someone please call the sensitivity police and have WFAN sports radio host Mike Francesa arrested. It seems Francesa is some kind of pissed at Mets’ second baseman Daniel Murphy for missing not one, but two (two!) games to be with his wife who has just given birth. According to Murphy’s contract, his paternity leave allows for 1-3 days off (a collective decision by the MLBPA 2011 agreement). But Francesa, in all of his lack of sensitivity and understanding for how modern families work, isn’t buying it. He wants Murphy back on the base, and back there now.

On his show Thursday, Francesa criticized Murphy for wanting to be with his wife and "hold her hand," (like a pussy, presumably). He then went so far as to criticize the concept of paternity leave in general. In between calling it both a "scam" and a "gimmick," he also asked, "That's ridiculous, what the heck do you need 10 days for? What are you supposed to be doing, vacationing?" Because being at your wife's side while caring for your newborn baby is bo-ring.

In the United States, only 13 percent of employers offer paid paternity leave. A study at Boston College found that 75 percent of men who don’t have paid paternity leave take off work for less than a week after their baby is born, while 16 percent are unable to take any days off at all — as in none, zilch, nadda.

Francesa, a father of three, boasted about his amazing parenting skills in between jabs at Murphy: "I was at the birth and was back to work the next day. I didn’t see any reason not to be working. Harrison [Francesa’s son] was born at nine in the morning. I worked that day. What was I gonna do, sit with my wife in the hospital?"

Francesa wasn’t alone in the bullying on Thursday's show. Craig Carton chimed in with his two cents, remarking that if the birth went well, "you get your ass back to your team and you play baseball."

Men still get a raw deal when it comes to being “allowed” to take time off to be with their family after the birth of a new baby. While we can point out that Francesa is being a prick about this, the fact remains that he was just saying out loud what many others were thinking. Did you see Twitter lose its shit over this one?

This guy was a real champ when his wife had their child.

And Skip Bayless, an ESPN journalist, is a very dedicated man.

As usual, sports is just a reflection of our culture at large.

In the United States, only 13 percent of employers offer paid paternity leave. A study at Boston College found that 75 percent of men who don’t have paid paternity leave take off work for less than a week after their baby is born, while 16 percent are unable to take any days off at all — as in none, zilch, nadda. The problem is simple: as a society, we still rely on the stereotype that men go to work and bring home the bread, while the women raise the children.

The crux of the problem may be that men still face an “unspoken disapproval” at work for taking the time off. Because what type of man, a real man who wants to provide for his family, would dare to be away from the office too long? It may be 2014, but that doesn’t stop 1950 from rearing its ugly head.

Fathers are just as integral a part of parenting as mothers are, and should be allowed the same amount of time at home with their new baby. It's a sad state of affairs when we look at how paternity leave is viewed in other parts of the globe, with countries like France allowing up to a year’s leave to new fathers, with the option to be "renewed twice until child’s third birthday."

Francesa may think he’s some sort of epic hero by showing up to work right after his son was born, but he has it wrong. Paternity leave isn’t about just "holding your wife’s hand" after she gives birth: it's about the initial bond between baby and parent — both of them. If Francesa can’t see that, that’s his loss. For Murphy, however, it's a win ... which is an exciting change for the Mets. (I had to!)

The ultimate irony here is that Francesa left his WNBC Sunday night show Mike’d Up in 2011 to — wait for it — "spend more time with his children."