Four Reasons Men Need Paternity Leave

I was saddened, but not entirely surprised, by the response New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy received from the sports world for taking the first couple games of the new season off to be with his family during the birth of his child.

I was particularly disappointed with Boomer Esiason, retired football quarterback, who said on a sports radio program that Murhpy should “get his ass back to work,” and that if he had wanted to witness his child’s birth, his wife should have planned a C-section around the start of the season.

American sports idolatry aside, this points to a much bigger issue in our culture. Yes, Boomer later apologized for his remarks, but the fact that it could even be considered tolerable to say such things, both about Murphy and particularly about his wife’s body, suggests we have a long way to go before we can claim to have our priorities in order as a society.

Read more about my thoughts on this, including four specific reasons men should get paternity leave, and let me know what you think. Have you or your male partner been given paternity leave? Ever been denied it? What was your experience?

About Christian Piatt

Christian Piatt is the creator and editor of BANNED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE BIBLE and BANNED QUESTIONS ABOUT JESUS. He has a memoir on faith, family and parenting called PREGMANCY: A Dad, a Little Dude and a Due Date, and Hachette published his first hardcover book, "postChristian: What's left? Can we fix it? Do we care?" in 2014. His first novel, "Blood Doctrine," has been optioned by a Hollywood production company for a possible TV series.

Christian is the cofounder and cohost of the Homebrewed CultureCast, a podcast about popular culture, current events and spirituality that has a weekly audience of 25,000 people (

Preorder Christian's next book, "Not That Kind of Christian: Loving God without being an a**hole," at

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  • Paul Freeman

    I have to share this story of my grandfather who raised a family of 10 children, including my dad. He raised them on a small farm/ranch in Montana, and was present for each of his children’s birth. Granddad took on the responsibility and honor of giving each one of the newborns their first baths and was actively involved in their nurturing. Unlike today when many a father has a job outside of the home, my grandfather had the luxury of working out of his home.

    One other point to bring out here is that my grandmother was handicapped due to polio. So grandfather needed to provide a more active role.

  • Andy

    I think it’s stupid that some people have expectations that athletes should sacrifice a precious moment in their personal life just because they make a lot of money. It’s ridiculous. I remember back in 2011 when a jackass of a beat writer took issue with Colby Lewis missing a start, saying he should have scheduled it around the baseball season. Seriously? Ugh.

    I like your take on the situation much better. Not impressed, Boomer.