Former Hawk Al Horford criticized for missing game to be with newborn

BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 26: Al Horford #42 of the Boston Celtics drives against the Brooklyn Nets during the first quarter at TD Garden on October 26, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Former Hawks center, Al Horford, was back in Atlanta this week. Horford traveled from Boston to be with his wife for the birth of their second child. As a result, he missed Monday’s game against the Miami Heat.

While many applauded the Celtics for giving Horford a brief pass — he returns Wednesday for the match up with the Pistons — a local talk show host took issue with Horford taking paternity leave.

Local talk show host, Mike Felger of CSN New England, said Horford should have chartered a jet from Atlanta to Miami in time to make the game after his daughter’s birth — as long as there were no complications with his child or his wife.

Horford’s sister, Anna Horford, hit Twitter with a response suggesting that Felger could “(expletive) right off.”

Next thing you know, Horford is in the awkward position of having to explain why he chose to be with his family instead of at work during a life-changing event.

“My family’s very important to me,” he said Tuesday according to Fox Sports. “For me, I’m in more of a unique situation because this is our first year here (in Boston) and my wife, we all moved in the middle of the pregnancy. And just a lot going on. So I just felt like it was important for me to really be there, supporting her.”

You can’t really be surprised at Felger’s reaction since paternity leave as standard practice is pretty much non-existent in the U.S.

Several progressive companies give new dads a few days to a few weeks of paid time off, but most often, fathers take vacation time or sick time when children are born (or adopted) and some are forced to take unpaid family leave to spend time with their families.

Reader Comments 0

56 comments
Langston Walker
Langston Walker

These people are STUPID. Family is more important than putting the ball in the basket. If had any other profession this wouldn't be an issue.

Melinda Raus Hicks
Melinda Raus Hicks

Shame on anyone who criticizes a man for choosing family first!!!

Jeremy Andrew
Jeremy Andrew

Wouldn't have happened in Atlanta just saying... #stillsalty

Judy Bleeks
Judy Bleeks

Just give him the dammed day off. The fame does not rely on just one man

Faye Edwards
Faye Edwards

And what does it mean to be with a newborn baby? We need to respect him and let him spend a quiet time with his baby period!

Chris Dodis
Chris Dodis

He doesn't owe anyone an explanation!

Taliyah Joy
Taliyah Joy

A new father, who happens to be an NBA player, missed game to be with his newborn baby. Film at 11 #next

Elaine Mattson
Elaine Mattson

Family first, especially for the birth of one's child!

Jonathan Burwell
Jonathan Burwell

Family first absolutely but he's not a hawk any more so please ...stop with the horford articles

Carolyn Denise Lindsey-Grobes
Carolyn Denise Lindsey-Grobes

For SOME people FAMILY comes before a job and IF a employer can't understand that , it's THEIR problem. That's why we have FMLA.

Beryl Eugene
Beryl Eugene

Not sure what the problem but as long hea not doc. I salute you brother and if they do check President Bill Clinton Act - Family Medical Leave . You have plenty more days off.

Ann Young
Ann Young

Dammed if you do, and dammed if you dont

Dorothy Brand
Dorothy Brand

THANK GOD !! his responsibility is a DAD FIRST ... there are a lot of guys out there who never take that responsibility on

turniptrucksurvivor
turniptrucksurvivor

Being a dad means being there through the years. Al, you're off to a good start. Keep up the good work.

Charlotte Hudson
Charlotte Hudson

Hands down family is always first. Why is it a discussion?

Jen Kindle
Jen Kindle

Priorities in our country. Ugh. He did what he was supposed to.

Erika M. Franco
Erika M. Franco

What??? Since when is it "awkward " for any man in any job to take off to be at the birth of their child???

Oris Lawhorn
Oris Lawhorn

Should be a law for men to be their for birth of child.

Samantha Dunn
Samantha Dunn

It would be news if he didn't miss the game too. Good decision in my book!!

Kerry Hill
Kerry Hill

What a lame response he soft with $126 million. You wish you was tissue paper too with that money don't you

David Dietzel
David Dietzel

Good for him he should've missed the game!!!!

Steve Jameson
Steve Jameson

Its not the playoffs please its the Hawks for Petes sake.

John P. Gray
John P. Gray

This happens all the time in sports, guys missing games to be there when their child is born. How is this any different? This man owes no one an explanation, and I especially love his sister's reaction.

Antionette Mckenney
Antionette Mckenney

Why do people complain about everything? my goodness that's that man's family and their business . He made the best decision for his family. Maybe if more people put family first the devoice rate wouldn't be so high

Chet Morris
Chet Morris

He did the right thing. The game will have to wait. His child the very DNA of him is being birth. This is the most important part of his life. Witch is more important than basketball.Anybody who can't understand this. Is not worth explaining to. He's having a baby and needs to be away for that moment. An owner,coach,boss whoever it is. There selfish and insensitive.For not understanding this reason. I myself wouldn't want to play for them.When my child is being born everything must be placed on hold. Even my career.

Joan Marchese
Joan Marchese

God, family, and than work. I quit my job 10 years ago over this same issue

Michele Williams
Michele Williams

Missing a game??? He chose the best decision for him. Ugh the nerve of some ppl smh

Another comment
Another comment

My daughter went to an Atlanta Hawks camp a couple of summers ago. Mrs. Horford came along with Al to the day of camp that he came to the camp. It impressed my daughter what a loving couple they were. It was genuine affection between Al and his wife. She was Ms. Universe or something like that.

VRSR
VRSR

A child is born once.  Plenty of basketball games.  Great for him that he stayed with his wife and newborn.  They do have another child that needed attention too.  Felger needs to get over himself.  Just because Felger chose differently doesn't mean it's wrong to do what Horford did.  And newsflash to Felger - complications can come hours after delivery.  My first baby developed complications 24 hours after birth.