‘The Bachelor’: Rachael Kirkconnell Defends Matt James and Says She ‘Respects the Decisions’ He Made By Dumping Her

Rachael Kirkconnell and Matt James might have ended things for good, which was apparent on The Bachelor: After the Final Rose, but that doesn’t mean she stopped caring for him. The reality television contestant defended James after he was receiving hate on his social media for not taking Kirkconnell back after breaking up with her. Here’s what Kirkconnell had to say in the aftermath of The Bachelor finale.

Rachael Kirkconnell sits down in ‘The Bachelor’ Season 25 finale ‘After the Final Rose’ special with guest host Emmanuel Acho
Rachael Kirkconnell from ‘The Bachelor’ Season 25 | ABC/Craig Sjodin

Matt James broke up with Rachael Kirkconnell after her racist pictures

James decided to give Kirkconnell his final rose on The Bachelor when she was the last contestant standing. The two dated off-screen after production until Kirkconnell’s problematic social media past came to light. James broke up with her after discovering he had to explain to Kirkconnell why her posts were an issue for him.

“When I question our relationship, it was on the context of you not fully understanding my Blackness and what it means to be a Black man in America and what it would mean for our kids when I saw those things that were floating around the internet,” the lead said on The Bachelor: After the Final Rose.

“It broke my heart because this is the last conversation I thought we’d be having,” James shared with Kirkconnell and the world. “I knew that I had to take a step back from you to put in that work that you outlined that you needed to do. That’s something you gotta do on your own. And that’s why we can’t be in a relationship.”

Kirkconnell expressed that she still loved James and that he was the love of her life. But James stood by his belief that the two could not be together anymore.

Matt James received hate online for his decision to break up with her

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Following the finale episode, James began to receive hate online. People expressed that since Kirkconnell apologized for her racist pictures, James should welcome her back into his life.

James’ social media comments flooded with statements along those lines.

Viewers of the show wrote in with comments on his Instagram like: “You lost a lot of fans last night;” “You showed zero grace;” and “He’s gonna be single forever.”

Kirkconnell took to her own Instagram account to shut down any hate headed James’ way. Even though many were defending her in his comment section, she asked people to stop.

Rachael Kirkconnell defended Matt James and his decision to dump her

The Georgia native posted an Instagram story on her account as caught by Reddit pleading with fans to respect James like she does.

“I am taken aback by what I’ve seen tonight,” she wrote. “If you think that attacking a person I care about with racist insults is what I would ever want, you haven’t been listening.”

She continued: “Some of the things I’ve seen being said to and about Matt are repulsive. I respect the decisions that Matt has had to make during this experience. If you are directing hate towards him, please stop. Recognize someone’s humanity and think about the impact your words have.”