Minor league pitcher Solomon Bates announced on social media Tuesday that he is gay.
"Being gay in this sport you don't know what comes at you!" Bates wrote on Instagram following his release from the San Francisco Giants. "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."
The 25-year-old told Outsports' Cyd Zeigler he first came out to his teammates in 2019.
"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 referenced the outpouring of support he has received since coming out publicly on Twitter:
The right-hander is the second active minor leaguer to come out as gay.
The Giants selected Bates in the eighth round of the 2018 MLB draft. He worked his way up to San Francisco's Double-A affiliate this season. In 23 appearances with the Richmond Flying Squirrels, he went 4-1 with a 4.02 ERA and 47 strikeouts over 40.1 innings.