Some dads are taking the term child support and lending it a new meaning. In the old days, the delivery room was no place for the expectant dad. Nowadays, as the men’s movement gains momentum, daddies are donning scrubs and participating in the birth of their children. Most notable have been professional athletes. For years now, moms have been asking why not have it all and it now it is daddy’s turn.
Some die-hard, armchair athletes might shake their heads in disgust lamenting the softening of the American male by taking away from one of the last places on earth they could truly be warriors. In a society of deadbeat dad where communities have to hunt down offenders, some guys are forfeiting the love of the game to be present in the delivery room.
Are these guys having it all? They are surely doing the unthinkable. Hunter Mahan put his club aside at the PGA million dollar tournament to attend the birth of his child. Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburg Steelers informed disappointed fans he was not going to miss being at his wife side during the delivery of their child. Chris Bosh, Miami Heat forward, walked away from Game Three, scoring a slam dunk for family devotion.
While these dads may not be typical examples, they make it clear to teammates, managers and fans that lending support to their wives and family are top priority. Major League Baseball has proven its support of family and children by endorsing a paternity leave pass of up to seventy-two hours to be present for the blessed event.
The practice has its critics on both sides. In the true meaning of lending support to one’s family and child, athletes are pioneering positive trends and strengthening the case for daddy-duty, shaming those who shirk their family obligations by trying to wiggle out of child support. Yes, these guys make millions, but they are emphasizing that being there for their families is more than just financial support. In the countless cases of deadbeat dads and violators of child support agreements, it is gratifying to know that some professional athletes are indeed positive role models.
qz.com, “Pro athletes are leading the charge for paternity leave in the US” Matt Schneider, Sep. 09, 2013