Michael Conforto Shows Real Leadership

Dominic Smith surprised us all when he took a knee before Wednesday’s game against the Marlins. He then bore his soul for everyone.

His words and actions were not lost on Michael Conforto. After the game, Conforto said, “I didn’t see that he was kneeling, and I told him I wished I had been out there with him. … We support him 100 percent no matter what he chooses to do.”

In those words, Conforto told everyone Smith was his teammate, and he would be there to support him. His hope was Smith knew that. Of course, those words, while important, were just words.

Before yesterday’s cancelled game, Conforto, as the Mets union representative and team leader, talked with Miguel Rojas of the Marlins to get both teams to agree not to play the game.

As we learned, there was pressure from the commissioner’s office to play the game. If it did not come from them, it came from Mets ownership.

Despite being prodded to make a symbolic gesture and still play the game, the players held firm. They took the field, held a 42 second moment of silence as a nod to Jackie Robinson, and then they left the field of play.

Then, Conforto got that chance he didn’t get the previous day. He stood there supporting Smith. He stood there along with Robinson Cano and Dellin Betances as well. He then spoke as the team leader.

During the press conference, he also spoke about the love they all had for their teammate.

This is real leadership.

Conforto didn’t just offer words of support for his teammate, he took action. He then made sure he was there to ensure Smith would not do this alone again.

While not nearly as powerful as Smith’s emotional press conference, it was a powerful moment.

In these moments, Conforto made it clear he’s the real leader of this team. He’s going to do all he can do to support his teammates, and he’s going to stand with them.

Seeing this unfold, and seeing his incredible play in the field, there should be no doubt the Mets should extend Conforto. When they do, he needs to be named Captain as he’s shown he is everything that person is supposed to be.