Solomon Bates, a minor league pitcher in the San Francisco Giants' system, came out as gay with a message on Instagram earlier this week.
This message came as part of an announcement that he's no longer with his team, the Richmond Flying Squirrels.
"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. 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."
Bates acknowledged that this day has involved a rollercoaster of emotions.
"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 wrote on Twitter.
The sports world took to social media to react to this announcement from Bates.
"Proud of you @SolomonBates_ for having the courage to come out in the world of sports!" one fan wrote.
"I stand with you, Solomon," another said.
"Thank you for being a trailblazer, the representation means so much for us gay fans <3 we love you!!!" another added.
Bates told Outsports that he came out to his teammates back in 2019, but continued to keep his sexuality a secret from the public.
He hopes his decision to come out will "open up doors" for other 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.”