Francesa and WFAN Sportscasters Laud Toxic Masculinity Over Paternity Leave


It’s not breaking news that WFAN sports commentary personalities Mike Francesa and Boomer Esiason found themselves in the center of a frenzied controversy based around their aggressive opinions over NY Mets player Daniel Murphy’s paternity leave. These gentlemen suggested that Murphy’s choice to be there for the birth and most important first few bonding days of his child’s life — not to mention the delivery process, support and healing of his wife — were bad form as a…sports player(?).

“Go see the baby be born and come back,” stated Francesa, infamously. “You’re a Major League Baseball player. You can hire a nurse to take care of the baby if your wife needs help.”

Gender dominance. Toxic masculinity. Absent parenting. Paternity as paycheck. Dare we go on?

Esiason’s stance was that: “I would have said, ‘C-section before the season starts. I need to be at Opening Day. I’m sorry, this is what makes our money. This is how we’re going to live our life. This is going to give my child every opportunity to be a success in life. I’ll be able to afford any college I want to send my kid to, because I’m a baseball player.’”

Yes, you heard that right. In their eyes Mr. Murphy should have demanded of wife, Tori, to have her C-section planned around the viewing schedule of American baseball fans, in enough advance that the health of both her and the baby could be put in jeopardy. How dare she bring life into the world while we lose our 2nd baseman for a few games!

Francesa aggressed that he himself only took the time to see the birth and get back to work for each of his three offspring. Later, he took yet another step in the direction of his flagrant upset with changing times and policy. After finding out that his own workplace allows new dads to take up to 10 days off for paternity leave, he “busted a gasket” asserting that it is a “scam” and a “gimmick”.

Although Esiason quickly retracted his stance alongside such ill-considered, Cro-Magnon views, he nonetheless did originally pour out the same vile verbal toxins of a passé and misogynistic era gone-by. Time has pressed on, the world is a platform of progression and positive change, the ‘business’ of family is that of a new generation with open eyes and dedicated bonds. Sadly, we continue to have cantankerous old coots sitting behind the veil of a microphone pressing an agenda of social devolution.

“Where have you been for the last several decades, when America has revolutionized? Today’s dads aren’t just at the hospital for the births of our children,” said CNN journalist and father of three, Daniel Levs, in an open letter on the Huff Post Parents blog. “We’re at home, taking care of them…in those critical early days of their lives — days that form bonds and a system of caregiving that tremendously affects their lives and the balance of responsibilities men and women take on at home for years to come.”

Murphy’s case is one of many proud, pro-athlete papas taking allotted time off, like Minnesota Twins pitcher Brian Duensing, or even leaving mid-game, like Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph, to become a father and a proper fixture in their growing families.

Not to worry. Francesa has since come to clear his name in this mess. He’s seen the error in what he had said. Thank goodness!  “I was really speaking to someone who has a job like a Major League player like Murphy,” he said. “Or, someone like me, you have a unique job, and you have the wherewithal to maybe afford care that some people may not, stuff like that, then you get back to work.” Whew…wait! 

Oh, Mike, thanks for clarifying. You merely meant this only applied to major pro-athletes. And you.




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