Guest Post: Sports, Priorities, and Fatherhood

Open Letter

An open letter to Mike Francesa, Boomer Esiason, and Craig Carton in response to the link in the post below:

Dear Mike Francesa, Boomer Esiason, and Craig Carton,

You recently voiced your negative opinions regarding NY Mets second baseman, Daniel Murphy, for his decision to take 3 days paternity leave, the maximum allowed by Major League Baseball. One of the great things about living in America is you are free to have and voice that opinion. Another great thing about living in America is that our society is not stuck in the stone ages. We have evolved past gender roles, or so I thought. Especially disappointing is that at least two of you are fathers.

I understand that WFAN and the NY Sport Radio market enjoys sensational and outlandish comments. I have lived in that market and have been listening to the FAN since 2003, and those kind of comments are a part of what I enjoy. But as I father, a husband, a supporter of gender equality, and a son, I have to say that I find your comments to be ignorant and insensitive.

Do you really believe that baseball, or sports in general, is more important than spending that time with your family? The birth of your firstborn is something one never forgets, but it is only the first step on the first day of becoming a good father. As a father I take issue with the fact that you suggest that Murphy should rush back to the Mets because otherwise he would “just sit there and look at your wife for two days.” And what, may I ask, is wrong with “sitting there holding your wife’s hand?”

Don’t you remember what it was like to change those first diapers, to hold your firstborn and smell the sweet and pure goodness of the top of his head, to gaze into your baby’s eyes thanking God that he is healthy and realize nothing in the world is more important, especially a baseball game.

Did you forget what it is like to care for your wife, the woman who just carried this child for nine months and then labored through delivery? Didn’t you feel gratitude for all that she had done and the excitement that comes with realizing that now you can do something for the child too? And you are upset about him missing 3 baseball games?

Honestly, as an adult, why do you care so much what another man decides to do with the paternity time allowed to him in his chosen profession? You talk about loyalty to your team. I would suggest that Murphy’s first loyalty is to his family. We all know that’s the team he will still be on long after his playing days are over. From the looks of this action, he seems like a great teammate for his family. And I am sure his child will be glad that his dad chose to stay with him and not rush off to play a child’s game, one where supposedly grown men make a living by offering their comments about it. And in this case, your comments are juvenile. Baseball teams have back-ups ready to step in and play while someone is out.

This baby only has one dad, and that dad should be there. And I am glad he is.

Fatherhood is not a game. Baseball is.

Sincerely,
Andy Kort 

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