A morning radio host issued a public apology Friday for suggesting a New York Mets player should have asked his wife to get a C-section before the baseball season started so he wouldn't miss games while on paternity leave, saying he regrets making the "flippant" and "insensitive" remarks.
“I can only hope that people understand that my comment — my flippant comment — wasn’t made in any way, shape or form to insult anybody," Boomer Esiason, co-host of WFAN's "Boomer & Carton," said on the show Friday. "But obviously it did. And for that I am truly sorry.”
The former NFL quarterback came under fire after he and co-host Craig Carton skewered second baseman Daniel Murphy's decision to miss the first games of the season to be with his wife and newborn son.
Esiason said Murphy, who took three days of paternity leave after his wife went into labor as the baseball season kicked off Monday, should have told his wife to get a C-section so he could make opening day. His comment, which was made during Wednesday's show, came after Carton said that assuming there are no complications, Murphy should have gotten his "ass back to your team" a day after the birth.
The comments drew backlash from some medical experts, who cautioned against scheduling a surgical birth for timing or convenience when the procedure isn't medically necessary. Esiason acknowledged Friday that he was wrong to suggest such an approach.
"In no way, shape or form was I advocating anything for anybody to do," he said. "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."
He said he feels bad that the Murphy family was "dragged into a conversation and their whole life was exposed," saying "what should be the greatest time in their life turned out to be somewhat of a firestorm that I personally put them into."
"All I can say is that I truly, truly, feel terrible about what I put them through. So for that I certainly apologize," he said.
Murphy, whose child was delivered via C-section, said Thursday that he and his wife "felt the best thing for our family was for stay for an extra day... just to have that support system." He called the choice to take paternity leave an "awesome part about being blessed, about being a parent."
"I can only speak from experience, from my experience, but a father seeing their wife, she was completely finished, she was done," he said. "She had had surgery and she was wiped. So having me there helped a lot."