Matt James is speaking out after his breakup from Rachael Kirkconnell.

On The Bachelor‘s March 15 finale, viewers watched as Matt ultimately chose the graphic designer, though he decided not to propose. While Matt and Rachael enjoyed a “honeymoon” phase after filming wrapped—the feeling didn’t last long. As Matt explained on After the Final Rose, he and Rachael broke up after racially insensitive photos of her surfaced online.

Rachael has since apologized and has vowed to educate herself after the images—showing her attending an antebellum plantation-themed fraternity party—emerged. However, as Matt told host Emmanuel Acho, he believes Rachael needs to do the work on her own rather than together as a couple.

On Tuesday, March 16, Matt appeared on Good Morning America to reflect on seeing Rachael for the first time after their split. “It hit me like a ton of bricks,” he told GMA‘s Michael Strahan. “I felt the weight of everything that I was carrying throughout the season and with what we were dealing with as a country and having to explain that, why I think it’s problematic to me and our relationship, which was extremely difficult.”

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