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Former baseball player Solomon Bates comes out as gay

His decision to come out was to "open up doors for gay athletes".

By Emily Maskell

Words: Emily Maskell; pictures: Instagram/@solomonbates

Solomon Bates came out publicly on Tuesday (9 August) after being released from the San Francisco Giants Minor League system.

After 25 games for the Giants this season, the 25-year-old wrote on Instagram that he was no longer part of the team and that his decision to come out was to “open up doors for gay athletes”.

Bates shared that “you don’t know what comes at you” when being a baseball player, thanking his now ex-team for giving him “the opportunity to be myself and go out there and play the game that I love the most.”

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A post shared by Solomon Bates (@solomonbates)

“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,” Bates added.

“I’m leaving on my terms and my terms only,” he continued. “Gay men can play a manly sport if you give us a chance to.”

After posting on Instagram, Bates took to Twitter to write: “The love and support I’m getting after a weird day. Thank you everyone, you turned a sad day into a day full of strength.”

He retweeted supportive messages from fans and had a message of self-acceptance to share with those who were negative in the face of his coming out.

“God loves me! It’s not who I lay down with. It’s how I act towards other[s], don’t worry though. [I] will strike out your favorite player,” he replied to a comment telling him he “needs Jesus”.

Bates revealed to Outsports that he had come out to his teammates in 2019 but he remains only the second active Minor League Baseball player to come out publicly, following David Denson in 2015.

Currently, the only Major League Baseball players to have come out are Glenn Burke and Billy Bean, though both were public with their sexuality only after retiring from the sport. 

The Attitude September/October issue is out now