Why is this a story? Open Letter for Francesa and Esiason

Today’s sports news hosts a story about WFAN broadcaster, Mike Francesa, and former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason taking issue with the Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy for using his CBA 1-3 day paternity leave. 

Dear Mike & Boomer:

The most magical memory I have of my three children’s deliveries is not their precious faces, or their soft gentle coos.  No in fact, it’s quite the opposite.  I stand in awe that my body could create, host and deliver another human into the world.

Pregnancy is a beautiful opportunity many families enjoy.  I have had the privilege of three full-term deliveries.  Each is special and hard in its own way.

But, I take offense at your reported lack of compassion for the Murphy family for several reasons.

1) The simple idea that anything would come before family.  Baseball is a game that some men have the opportunity to play professionally.  It isn’t war, and it isn’t heroic.  Nothing trumps family, no matter how many zeros or contracts are attached to the salary.

2) Each of you lack the basic anatomy to describe why a woman might need or want her husband around following a delivery.  Just as I can not tell you how to best get through a prostrate exam, you cannot and should not comment on how or why a family might feel it best to support a woman who’s just given birth.  I for one will just state, that the days after my three deliveries were nothing but a blur, not to mention how incredibly difficult it was to just get up and “feed the baby.”  Regardless of family support, my husband and I both decided to become parents.  His support during the first couple of months was critical to our family’s success.  His contribution to the process did not end with conception.

3) Regardless of your own family choices, you have no room to single out a particular family, in the national media.  By singling out the Murphy family, you’ve done more to cause chaos and uproar than any national conversation on women’s rights could ever do.  You both singled the Murphy family out  during what should be one of the happiest times of their life.

4) Baseball’s season is 162 games.  Murphy’s paternity leave removed him from only 2% of the regular season games.  Rarely, if ever do three games determine whether or not a team makes the playoffs.  And, if they do, it would unfair to blame it all on one player.  Murphy started 155 games last year, with 78 RBI, hitting 13 home runs, and a .286 batting average.  He’s a decent player, but it’s not likely to sway an entire season.

5) Both of your comments make the assumption that the birth of a child is a common, everyday occurrence.  It might have been for you and your families, but for some, the birth of a child is a lifetime of prayer, hope and faith.  It is something many families haven’t had the chance to experience.  Maybe your individual responses are at the heart of what’s wrong with our culture.  We simply fail to value life.

In short, back off.  Until your ovaries, cervix, and vagina are installed, and one of you is carrying Daniel Murphy’s child (which might just actually might be one of the best reality TV shows ever pitched), you have little to no opinion in what goes on inside the Murphy family.  Your comments helped create a national news story about a non-issue.

No gimmicks.  No c-sections because of a game.  No story.

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