Minor League Baseball player Solomon Bates is publicly opening up about his sexuality.
Taking to Instagram on Tuesday, the 25-year-old athlete and former Richmond Flying Squirrels player revealed to his fans and followers that while he is no longer playing for the team, which is part of the San Francisco Giants system, he is thankful for the time he had and isn't giving up on his love of baseball, especially as an out, gay man.
"Being gay in this sport, you don't know what comes at you!" he wrote. "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. 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. I ended on a high note from getting hurt to going out there and pitching my ass off. Baseball I'm not done with you. 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."
In a recent interview with OutSports, Bates revealed that he has, in fact, been out to his teammates since 2019, but he is just now coming out to the greater public in an effort to "open up doors for gay athletes."
"I haven’t been out as my complete self because I’ve been hiding myself," he said. "I’m a masculine man who loves the sport of baseball, and now I want to open up doors for gay athletes like me."
Bates, who is on the lookout for a new team to join following his departure from the San Francisco Giants system, also told OutSports that he has been dropping hints about his sexuality on social media as early Pride Month, citing one particular Instagram post of him in action on the field where he used a rainbow emoji in the caption.
"I like to give little hints about myself," Bates told the website. "I hadn’t really said it because I want to be seen as how I handle things professionally. I want people to see my stats and let people know that gay men can play baseball. I was on the verge of doing that, my shot just ended up short."
Congrats on living your truth, Solomon! And welcome to the family!