Minor league pitcher Solomon Bates publicly came out as gay in an Instagram post on Tuesday, the same week that he was released by the Giants. He is the second minor league baseball player to publicly come out as gay, after David Denson did so in 2015.
Bates was an eighth-round pick out of USC in 2018, and has been in the Giants’ system ever since. He pitched in 23 games at Double A this season, posting a 4.02 ERA with 47 strikeouts in 40 1/3 innings. In his post, he maintained an optimistic outlook following his release, and said he still planned to “open up doors for gay athletes like me.”
“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,” Bates wrote. “I’m still in shock on what just happened. 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.”
Bates, 25, later detailed his experience with Outsports, describing what it’s been like to not be able to be his true self. He said he initially told teammates he is gay in 2019.
“I haven’t been out as my complete self because I’ve been hiding myself,” Bates said, per Cyd Zeigler of Outsports. “I’m a masculine man who loves the sport of baseball, and now I want to open up doors for gay athletes like me.”