Out pro baseball player Solomon Bates clapped back at sexist trolls who griped over the possibility that the San Francisco Giants might hire a female manager.
The Giants interviewed assistant coach Alyssa Nakken last week to potentially take over as the new manager after the former manager, Gabe Kapler, was fired toward the end of the 2023 season.
Nakken, who has a master's degree in sports management from the University of San Francisco and started working for the Giants in 2014, was promoted and became the first full-time female coach in MLB history in January 2020.
She also was the first to coach on the field during a major league game six months later.
But her qualifications as a potential new manager for the Giants were dismissed by trolls who didn't want a woman to manage the team.
That's when Bates, who understands all too well about being marginalized, spoke up and started campaigning for Nakken.
"She'd be an amazing manager."
Bates joined the Giants in 2019 and got acquainted with Nakken as he went through Spring Training over the next three seasons.
When asked if he'd met Nakken, the 26-year-old replied, speaking from experience about Nakken's qualifications.
"Every year I was with the big leaguers in spring training when I was in the org. Spent most of my time there."
Users joined Bates in backing the potential new candidate.
And when the haters tried to come for Bates, he threw them a curveball.
In response to a user who suggested, "She don't want you bro," Bates replied:
"Nor do I want her bro!"
A 33-year-old self-proclaimed "former softball player" said:
"I'm sure the locker room would be thrilled."
"Baseball lifers like Thompson, and Snitker had to wait decades to get an opportunity to manage in the MLB, but hey, let's be 'Inclusive.'"
To which Bates hit back with:
"In what way do you mean, because eww."
"Be inclusive don't be gross."
In a powerful message posted on Instagram in August 2022, Bates revealed his sexual identity and also shared that he had been released from the Giants.
He posted a screenshot of his impressive stats from the 2022 season, and wrote:
"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 a** off."
He harbored no ill will toward the Giants and looked ahead with optimism.
"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 told Outsports that he had already been out to his teammates in 2019 but made the decision to come out on social media to inspire other gay athletes.
“I haven’t been out as my complete self because I’ve been hiding myself."
"I’m a masculine man who loves the sport of baseball, and now I want to open up doors for gay athletes like me.”
Days after posting his statement, Bates signed with a new pro club, the Sioux City Explorers.