Solomon Bates came out as gay on social media Tuesday. Bates, a right-handed pitcher, was with the San Francisco Giants organization before being released this week.
Bates is the second minor league baseball player to do so following David Denson in 2015.
“I’m still in shock on what just happened,” Bates wrote. “But I’m not giving up on what I want to do. I’m still going to open up doors for gay athletes like me. Still will strive to be one of the greatest to do it.”
The former eighth-round pick out of USC told Outsports that he came out as gay to his teammates in 2019. He finally made the decision to come out to everyone in hopes of setting a possible example for gay athletes.
“Gay men can play a manly sport if you give us a chance to,” Bates said in his Instagram post. “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 expressed gratitude for encouraging messages sent his way.
“Thank you everyone,” he wrote on Twitter, “you turned a sad day into a day full of strength.”
Bates has posted a 4.30 ERA during his minor-league career. He had registered a 3.74 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 43.1 innings this season before his release.