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.