'Bachelor' Matt James ends relationship with Rachael Kirkconnell due to racially ignorant past

Monday’s “The Bachelor” finale ended with Matt James giving Rachael Kirkconnell the final rose. The couple’s relationship did not last long however, as images of Kirkconnell attending an antebellum party in 2018 emerged. And during the “After the Final Rose” special, which aired immediately after the finale, Matt confronted his ex-girlfriend.

“When I questioned our relationship, it was in the context of you not fully understanding my Blackness and what it means to be a Black man in America,” said James. “It broke my heart, because this is the last conversation I thought we'd be having. I didn't sign up to have this conversation.”

While Kirkconnell has apologized and claims to be educating herself, Matt explained why they can’t be together.

“I had to take a step back for you to put in that work that you outlined that you needed to do, and that's something that you gotta do on your own, and that's why we can't be in a relationship,” said James. “I don't wanna be emotionally responsible for those tears, 'cause it's like, the work and the reconciliation that needs to be done is work that I can't do for you.”

Even though the couple’s relationship is over, James hopes Kirkconnell can move forward and be better.

“The last thing I want is for people to be calling to have you canceled or people to be calling you out for things,” said James. “I really want them to call you in, and I want you to do this work because... That's the best thing that could come out of this.”