Baseball player Solomon Bates has come out as gay and shared that he hopes to “open up doors” for other LGBTQ+ athletes.
The statement came after it was confirmed that Bates had been released by his team, the Giants.
“Being gay in this sport you don’t know what comes at you! I thank the giants for giving me the opportunity to be myself and go out there and play the game that I love the most,” he wrote on Instagram on 9 August. “I’m still in shock on what just happened. But I’m not giving up on what I want to do.”
He becomes the second Minor League baseball player to publicly come out as gay after David Denson did so seven years ago.
Bates explained that he is “not giving up on what I want to do” and is “still going to open up doors for gay athletes like me.”
The 25-year-old continued: “I’m leaving on my terms and my terms only.
“Gay men can play a manly sport if you give us a chance to. Thank you giants, you guys made a new fan. But gave me a chip to keep going.
“I love all the new friends that I’ve made. I’m not going to cry. I’m going to keep pushing.”
Bates has been out to his teammates since 2019, according to an interview with Outsports.
“I haven’t been out as my complete self because I’ve been hiding myself,” he explained. “I’m a masculine man who loves the sport of baseball, and now I want to open up doors for gay athletes like me.”
In 2018, the athlete was an eighth-round pick out of USC.
He has been in the Giants’ system since then and is optimistic about the future.
“I’m just thinking about my next team,” Bates added. “Life is good right now. I’m confident I’ll be with a new team in the next few days.”