The Cumming, Georgia native took to Instagram on Wednesday, urging people to stop defending her by “attacking” James with “racist insults.” This comes after the Bachelor star made the decision to end their relationship following the controversy surrounding racially insensitive photos of Kirkconnell.
“I am taken aback by what I’ve seen tonight. 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 wrote. “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.”
James and Kirkconnell left the show as a couple and remained together for a short period of time thereafter, but their relationship came to an end after photos of Kirkconnell attending an antebellum plantation-themed party in 2018 surfaced on social media. She apologized for the photos last month, saying she is “learning and will continue to learn how to be antiracist.”
During Monday’s After the Final Rose special, James revealed that he called it quits after the photos came to light, further implying that Rachael still needed an explanation as to why they were problematic even today.
“As Rachael acknowledged in her apology, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done,” he said. “I have to take a step back and allow her to put in that work. And I’m looking forward to seeing her put in that work.”
He continued, “If you don’t understand that something like that is problematic in 2018, there’s a lot of me that you won’t understand…It’s as simple as that.”