Published On: Tue, May 11th, 2021

Matt James shows off his impressive skateboarding skills on a date with Rachael Kirkconnell in NYC

Matt James couldn’t keep his hands off his girlfriend Rachael Kirkconnell on Sunday after enjoying a fun-filled date at a skatepark in New York City.    

The lovebirds, who recently rekindled their relationship after calling it quits earlier this year when her racist past surfaced online, looked inseparable as they entered his apartment on the Lower East Side. 

As they walked into his building side-by-side, the retired football player, 29, kept his hand tenderly placed on the 24-year-old graphic designer’s back. 

Having fun: Matt James couldn’t keep his hands off his girlfriend Rachael Kirkconnell on Sunday after enjoying a fun-filled date at a skatepark in New York City

For their outing, James kept his look casual in a black hoodie, matching sweatpants and sneakers. 

Meanwhile, Kirkconnell sported a black jean jacket, light-wash denim bottoms and her dark brown hair cascading past her shoulders. 

In April, Matt confirmed that he’s ‘pursuing’ a relationship with Rachael after splitting earlier this year. 

Sweet: As they walked into his building side-by-side, the retired football player, 29, kept his hand tenderly placed on the 24-year-old graphic designer's back

Sweet: As they walked into his building side-by-side, the retired football player, 29, kept his hand tenderly placed on the 24-year-old graphic designer’s back

Looking cozy: The lovebirds, who recently rekindled their relationship after calling it quits earlier this year when her racist past surfaced online, looked inseparable as they entered his apartment on the Lower East Side

Looking cozy: The lovebirds, who recently rekindled their relationship after calling it quits earlier this year when her racist past surfaced online, looked inseparable as they entered his apartment on the Lower East Side

‘I’ve seen Rachael a handful of times,’ he told PEOPLE magazine. ‘I’m not pursuing any relationships right now outside of that. I said I was going to focus on my relationship with her and that means focusing on it.’

The Bachelor ended in heartbreak and controversy in March after James, the show’s first Black lead, gave Rachael his final rose but opted not to propose, but then revealed he broke up with her while their pre-taped episodes were still airing when ‘racist’ images of her attending a plantation-themed party were exposed online, along with evidence of past racially-insensitive social media posts.

James addressed a number of topics on the ABC show After the Final Rose which was hosted by Emmanuel Acho as Chris Harrison stepped aside after a heated debate with Rachel Lindsay where he defended Rachael’s attendance at the 2018 college party on a plantation where she also dressed up. 

'I've seen Rachael a handful of times,' he recently told PEOPLE magazine. 'I'm not pursuing any relationships right now outside of that. I said I was going to focus on my relationship with her and that means focusing on it'

‘I’ve seen Rachael a handful of times,’ he recently told PEOPLE magazine. ‘I’m not pursuing any relationships right now outside of that. I said I was going to focus on my relationship with her and that means focusing on it’ 

Matt, who had been with Rachael since Thanksgiving last year when the show wrapped, said he initially dismissed reports of her social media activity as ‘dark and nasty’ rumors when they emerged in late January.

But when an image of her attending a plantation-themed sorority ball photo was revealed in early February, Matt — whose After The Final Rose special wasn’t taped until March — said he decided to call it quits after feeling that Rachael ‘might not understand what it means to be Black in America.’

‘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,’ he told Michael Strahan on Good Morning America.

The After The Final Rose special marked the first time that the former couple had come face to face since their split, and saw Rachael apologizing to Matt in-person, while describing him as ‘the love of her life.’

A nicer time: While Matt didn't offer a proposal on the finale of The Bachelor, he did end up giving Rachael his final rose

A nicer time: While Matt didn’t offer a proposal on the finale of The Bachelor, he did end up giving Rachael his final rose 

Not great: Photos surfaced of contestant Rachael Kirkconnell at a plantation-themed party in 2018 as well as a history of liking photos with the Confederate flag

Not great: Photos surfaced of contestant Rachael Kirkconnell at a plantation-themed party in 2018 as well as a history of liking photos with the Confederate flag

She also insisted that she is taking the time to educate herself about racism. 

During the special, Matt said: ‘You wanna believe that you know your person better than anybody else knows your person. This controversy swirling around who Rachael is and events she might’ve attended, pictures that she liked and people that she’s associated with.

‘I’m trying to be there for her, and I dismissed them as rumors, because that’s what they were to me. You hear things that are heartbreaking and you just pray they’re not true. And then, when you find out that they are it just makes you question everything,’ he added. 

Attempt: The After The Final Rose special marked the first time that the former couple had come face to face since their split, and saw Rachael apologizing to Matt in-person, while describing him as 'the love of her life'

Attempt: The After The Final Rose special marked the first time that the former couple had come face to face since their split, and saw Rachael apologizing to Matt in-person, while describing him as ‘the love of her life’

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