Sports talk radio host Mike Francesa blasted Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy for taking three days off when his wife gave birth this week, calling the paternity leave a “scam and a half.”
“I mean, what would you possibly be doing?” Francesa said on his Wednesday afternoon broadcast at WFAN, “I guarantee you’re not sitting there holding your wife’s hand.”
Murphy took three days off as part of the collectively bargained paternity leave, and missed two games. He’s expected to be back in the Met’s starting lineup on Thursday.
But that’s not soon enough for Francesa. “One day, I understand,” he said. “Go see the baby be born, and come back. You’re a major league baseball player, you can hire a nurse.”
“Your wife doesn’t need your help, those first couple days, you know that,” he said. “What are you gonna do? Sit there and look at your wife in the hospital bed for three days?
The host also blasted his co-workers for taking 10 days paternity leave. “For what? To take pictures?
But then, something incredible happened. Francesa’s male listeners called in with objections, saying the old-timer had outdated ideas of a dad’s responsibility.
“Society has come to a point where we recognize this is one of the most important milestones and it’s important to be with your family,” said one caller, who then got slammed by Francesa.
Another caller also attacked Francesa for being out of touch. “For you to say ‘oh it’s okay, let’s throw some money at a nurse and have them take care of the kid,’ and not let Daniel Murphy take two days in the beginning of the season is crazy,” he said.
“He’s learning prenatal care, he’s learning how to take care of the baby,” the caller argued. “He plays a 162 game season, he wants to spend time with his family.”