Baseball player Solomon Bates comes out: ‘Gay men can play a manly sport’

A baseball player in an oraneg

Baseball player Solomon Bates has come out as gay in a candid social media post.

On Tuesday (9 August), the Minor League pitcher posted a lengthy Instagram post sharing his authentic self with followers.

“Being gay in this sport you don’t know what comes at you,” he wrote.

Solomon Bates confirmed that he had been released by his team, the Richmond Flying Squirrels, thanking them for giving him “the opportunity to be myself and go out there and play the game that I love the most”.

He added that in coming out publicly, he hoped to “open up doors” for other gay athletes.

“Gay men can play a manly sport if you give us a chance to,” he said. “I love all the new friends that I’ve made. I’m not going to cry. I’m going to keep pushing.”

In an interview with OutSports, Bates confirmed he has been out to his teammates since 2019.


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A post shared by Solomon Bates (@solomonbates)

Solomon Bates ‘hinted’ he was gay

While Bates had not come out publicly until now, he confirmed that he had dropped clues on social media.

During Pride Month, Bates posted a photo of himself pitching alongside a caption that read: “Got my mind on a bigger picture. Bigger than me!!!! ⛈???”.

He confirmed to OutSports that the rainbow was a “hint” at his identity.

“I hadn’t really said it because I want to be seen as how I handle things professionally,” he explained.

“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.”


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A post shared by Solomon Bates (@solomonbates)

The “shot” Bates was referring to is the fact that he was recently released from the Richmond Flying Squirrels, a Double-A Minor League team in Virginia. He pitched for the San Francisco Giants system in spring training, but is currently not with a team.

Bates joins David Denson, who came out in 2015 before retiring in 2017, as the only minor league baseball players to come out as gay.

Fans replied with messages of well wishes and congratulations, praising Bates’ bravery.

Bates told supporters they turned a “sad day into a day full of strength”.

He is keeping his outlook positive, and said he believes that he will find another team soon.

“Life is good right now. I’m confident I’ll be with a new team in the next few days,” he said.