After getting released by the San Francisco Giants organization Tuesday, pitcher Solomon Bates has grabbed headlines by publicly announcing that he is gay via his Instagram account. Giants manager Gabe Kapler was sought for a reaction to Bates’ coming out prior to Tuesday night’s showdown against the San Diego Padres at home, and he had had nothing but good words and respect for the young hurler.

Via Marisa Ingemi of the San Francisco Chronicle:

“I just have a ton of respect for Solomon’s willingness to lead,” Kapler said. “I think it’s great that he’s speaking up. I think he’s, in many ways, paving the way for other gay athletes to be willing to come out and be themselves. So good for Solomon.”

Here’s what Solomon Bates posted on Instagram Tuesday:

“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.”

Support for Bates has come from all directions and it’s something that is great to see. There is also still hope that he can make it to the majors, which is many in the LGBT community would definitely love to see.

Selected in the eighth round (226th overall) by the Giants in the 2018 MLB Draft, Solomon Bates currently has a career 17-6 record in the minors along with a 4.30 ERA and 1.35 WHIP across 165.1 innings.