Sports radio host Mike Francesa celebrates bad fathers everywhere, calls paternity leave a "scam"

"Your wife doesn’t need your help the first couple of days," he explains

By Katie McDonough
April 3, 2014 5:20PM (UTC)
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Mike Francesca (YouTube)

Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy missed two games this week while taking the whopping three days of paternity leave allotted to him in order to spend time with his wife and new child.

This made sports radio host Mike Francesa really mad.

On Wednesday, Francesa went on a long radio rant that was ostensibly about paternity leave (a scam, apparently), but mostly sounded like a tirade against being an involved father.


"One day [of paternity leave] I understand. And in the old days they didn’t do that. But one day, go see the baby be born and come back. You’re a Major League Baseball player. You can hire a nurse to take care of the baby if your wife needs help,” he said.

“What are you going to do? I mean you are going to sit there and look at your wife in a hospital bed for two days?” he continued. “Your wife doesn’t need your help the first couple of days; you know that you’re not doing much the first couple days with the baby that was just born.”

After urging other people to be terrible fathers, Francesa explained that he was back at work right after his own children were born. “For a baseball player. You take a day, all right. Back in the lineup the next day! What are you doing?” he said. “I guarantee you are not sitting there holding your wife’s hand. ... I had three kids. ... I was at the birth and was back to work the next day. I didn’t see any reason not to be working. [My son] Harrison was born at nine in the morning. I worked that day. What was I gonna do, sit with my wife in the hospital?”


Yeah! What was he going to do? Sit around with his wife in the hospital? Talk to her about how she's feeling or maybe just take some time together to feel close and acclimate to life as a family with a new child? And then what was he going to do? Spend time with this new baby who he brought into the world who he maybe even loves a little bit? Help change diapers or try to soothe the baby if he or she is crying?

No way! People have nurses for that! Fathers don't feel any kind of emotions when they have babies or have any personal desire to spend time with their new child. Mike Francesa knows that all dads really want to do is get back to work, where they can yell about paternity leave or maybe fall asleep at the microphone during a live interview or something.

Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at

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