Boomer Esiason: Pro athletes shouldn’t skip games for paternity leave

DENVER — Former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason critical of paternity leave for athletes. Now, some new Colorado parents are critical of him.

The now-sports announcer spoke out against New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy who missed two games to be with his wife after their son was born Monday.

The new dad was back on the field Thursday after missing a game Monday and Wednesday on paternity leave.

Esiason thought one day was plenty.

Sarah and Wilson Hahnenberg enjoy a rare night out at Qdoba Mexican Restaurant.

“She is my pride and joy and light of my life,” says Sarah of her 9-week-old daughter, Emma.

And her dad is so happy he go to spend three weeks with her on paternity leave.

“Irreplaceable. There’s nothing that would be worth not spending that time with your child,” says Wilson.

It’s 11 days more than the Mets’ Murphy got to spend with his son this week–and three days that Esiason criticized as too much time away from Murphy’s team.

“Bottom line. That’s not me. I wouldn’t do that,” says Esiason on his radio show. “Quite frankly, I woulda 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.”

But doctors say a C-section is something you should only do out of medical necessity to protect mom and baby.

“A C-section is major abdominal surgery. It takes at least six weeks to recover from the surgery and like any other surgeries, there can be complications,” says Dr. Kristin Woodward, a pediatric anesthesiologist.

Besides, Sarah says being in the hospital is super stressful with a new life in your hands. Her husband shared that responsibility.

“I got to see the first few days of my daughter and make sure my wife is going to be OK,” says Wilson.

The Hahnenberg’s applaud Murphy for his decision putting family first in a contest that pit baby against team.

“You only have the birth of your first child one time. I’m glad he was there for that…It’s sad baseball players only get three days. I think Emma is sad about that too,” chuckles Sarah, as Emma yelps, as if to agree with her mother.

Federal law grants new parents up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave over a year.

Some companies require their workers first use all their paid leave, including vacations and sick days.

Only 13-percent of employers nationally offer paid paternity leave.


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