I really can’t believe the mess that is surrounding Mets infielder Daniel Murphy’s decision to take paternity leave. It’s a collectively bargained right under the CBA, happens every year, and is never a big deal (including this week, when Jimmy Rollins went on paternity leave and missed the Phillies game on Wednesday).
One of the main culprits behind the controversy that should have never happened was Boomer Esiason, who made some ridiculous comments (along with co-host Craig Carton and WFAN stalwart Mike Francesa) about Murphy’s decision on Wednesday. After getting roundly bashed throughout Wednesday, Esiason issued an apology on Friday.
“I just want to say again on this radio show that in no way, shape or form was I advocating anything for anybody to do. I was not telling women what to do with their bodies. I would never do that,” he said. “That’s their decision, that’s their life and they know their bodies better than I do. And the other thing, too, that I really felt bad about is that Daniel Murphy and Tori Murphy were dragged into a conversation, and their whole life was exposed. And it shouldn’t have been.”
It’s sad that this is even a discussion. It boggles my mind that Esiason would be so flippant with his comments about a such a sensitive issue. A husband wanting to be with his wife while she’s giving birth shouldn’t be subject to criticism, and Esiason’s apology rings just a little hollow for this reason.
He could have apologized on Thursday, but he and Craig Carton chose to stand by their comments. On Thursday morning’s Boomer & Carton program, Esiason’s partner Carton said this via Newsday:
“People are up in arms about it,” Carton said. “God forbid anybody has an opinion that goes against the group out there . . . There is a very vocal minority, these organized groups that want to attack everybody because you have an opinion against them.”
Esiason also didn’t back away from his original thoughts:
“It’s not a two-week vacation they get,” he said. “It’s a four-month vacation we were off as athletes . . . For you and I, for me, it’s always going back to work assuming everything is OK.”
What changed between Thursday and Friday that didn’t between Wednesday (when he made the comments) and Thursday? It’s likely that someone above Esiason made it known that a detailed, heartfelt apology was in order before the PR mess got any worse.