Rachael Kirkconnell Speaks out as Matt James Faces Backlash

Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell on 'After the Final Rose'

ABC/Craig Sjodin Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell on After the Final Rose.

Rachael Kirkconnell took to Instagram late Wednesday night to defend Matt James from the “racist insults” flooding his social media.

Despite giving Kirkconnell the final rose on Monday night’s Bachelor finale, James ended their relationship in light of mounting racism accusations facing the Georgia-native. The accusations seemingly came to a head when photos from 2018 surfaced of Kirkconnell at an “Old South” antebellum-themed party.

As he explained to host Emmanuel Acho during After the Final Rose, “If you don’t understand that something like that is problematic in 2018, there’s a lot of me that you won’t understand.”

James seemed to close the door on any future possibilities of reconciliation. Some fans were angered by the real estate broker’s decision and left negative, and at times explicit and violent, comments on the star’s social media account.

“I am taken aback by what I’ve seen tonight,” wrote Kirkconnell in a statement she posted on her Instagram Story. “If you think that attacking a person I care about with racist insults is what I would ever want, you haven’t been listening. Some of the things I’ve seen being said to and about Matt are repulsive.”

She continued, “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.”

Here’s what you need to know:


Some Bachelor Nation Fans Left Explicit and Violent Comments on His Latest Instagram Post

James’ latest Instagram video showcases the ABC Food Tours founder training for a marathon. Still, disgruntled fans used the post’s comment section as their sounding board.

“Thanks for ruining the franchise!! You made history after tonight,” wrote one viewer. Another added, “You make Juan Pablo look like an angel!” referencing the largely panned season 18 Bachelor.

James was called a “coward,” “fool,” “loser” and “womanizer” among more explicit names. The comments took a violent turn, such as one woman’s remarks that “honestly wouldn’t mind a free punch right in your nose [right now].”

Other comments got more personal, commenting on the former football player’s Christian faith or “daddy issues.”

The North Carolina native opened up about his father’s absence in his life, a situation some are equating with James’ decision to end his three-to-four month relationship.


Others Joined Kirkconnell in Defending James

As the negative and at times aggressive comments started to mount, some of his fans joined the cries to stop “harassing” James.

Some called out the comments and wrote reminders he is “just a person like the rest of you.” Others simply hyped up the post with compliments and, in the case of Venus Williams, clapping emojis.

One lengthier response explaining their support of James’ decision read,

“It’s so crazy to me how many people who aren’t of color saying he was a terrible person for making the decision he made. People who will NEVER have to deal with the racially [insensitive] things and people we have to go through and encounter on a daily. Would it have made you happy to stay with her even if he knew it wasn’t what he was supposed to do to just make everyone happy? It’s not about religion and ‘forgiveness’ you can forgive and not forget. This situation not only impacts him but his future children, his brother, his father and other POC he has in his life. He used his platform to stand up for us and himself and that in itself shows so much character and strength. Instead take notes from him to not settle and care what others think of you. … have a blessed Tuesday.”

James has not posted to Instagram since March 9.

READ NEXT: Is ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ Airing This Summer 2021?

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