Former NFL linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo can relate to New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy. Like Murphy, Ayanbadejo once faced criticism during his career after he chose to be with his wife for the birth of his child. The difference is Murphy has received the support of his coaching staff.
In his FOX Sports column on Friday, Ayanbadejo wrote about how he took a small amount of time off from preseason action with the Miami Dolphins back in 2005 when his daughter was born. He said that Nick Saban, who was coaching in Miami at the time, made it clear that he did not approve of him missing any practice time to be with family.
Despite Saban’s wishes, Ayanbadejo said he took a total of about 36 hours off to be with his wife — who was recovering from having a C-section — and newborn child. He was traded shortly thereafter.
Five days after the birth of my child, I found out that I was traded to the Chicago Bears. Due to the timing of the circumstances, it was a nightmare. But in retrospect, it was clearly one of the best things that happened to my football career.
As I left Miami, I had more questions than answers. Did Saban ship me off because I put my family before football? Did the team question my desire to be a Dolphin because of my life priorities?
Personally, I don’t see the issue with players taking a little bit of time off to be with their families when a child is born. We wouldn’t question anyone in any other profession if they did that. At the same time, I’m not surprised to hear that Saban supposedly did not approve. We all know how he can be.