"Garrett is my fiancé and I love him and to his core, I believe that he is a good person," Becca Kufrin said, adding that she does not agree with his take on the issue of police brutality

By Aurelie Corinthios and Michele Corriston
June 09, 2020 01:06 PM
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Becca Kufrin has spoken out after her fiancé Garrett Yrigoyen came under fire for supporting law enforcement amid nationwide protests against systemic racism and police brutality.

Kufrin, 30, addressed the controversy on the latest episode of her Bachelor Happy Hour podcast with co-host and fellow former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay, the franchise's only black lead, in an emotional and frank conversation.

"Garrett is my fiancé and I love him and to his core, I believe that he is a good person," Kufrin said, adding, "I don’t align with and I don’t agree with" his social media post.

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"I don’t think he meant it in a malicious way," she said. "I do think it was tone-deaf, and it was the wrong time and message and sentiment."

Kufrin added that one of Yrigoyen's friend is a police officer, and his friend " got shot in the back of the head during one of these riots."

On Thursday, Yrigoyen posted a lengthy statement on Instagram alongside a photo of the "Thin Blue Line," a symbol meant to show support for police officers. In his statement, Yrigoyen said he "couldn't sit back and not support" his "many friends and family in law enforcement," as well as the "hundreds of thousands of men and women of all races that represent this Thin Blue Line as well."

Yrigoyen, 31, claimed cops are "being threatened, attacked, shot, shot at, hit with vehicles, and other forms of brutality," and staying silent "while being threatened, hated, and assaulted," referring to the ongoing demonstrations sparked by the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed while in Minneapolis police custody last month.

"We can't judge an entire group of people by the actions of a few. We can't judge the peaceful protesters by the actions of the few violent protesters, and we sure can't judge all cops by the actions of a few bad ones," he wrote. "Remember when they put on the badge they're still humans, with raw emotion, the more brutality they face the more on edge they become, they make mistakes, they have compassion, and no matter how terrible they are treated or whatever negative is said to them, they still show up for us when we need them!"

On the podcast, Lindsay, 35, said she appreciated Kufrin's willingness to have a difficult conversation and thanked her for checking in with her as a friend. But she reminded her co-host that Yrigoyen's post was not an "isolated incident."

"To me, this is what Garrett thinks, this is what Garrett is," she said. "He posted a black box. He never said 'black lives matter.' He posted fists of every color, which to me is like, 'Everybody, all lives.' And then the very next post is the 'thin blue line' with a heartfelt, thought-out caption that he said with his chest. And to me, that is what you feel, and that is what you believe. I don’t think Garrett is malicious, but Garrett is what the problem is."

Yrigoyen first sparked controversy in 2018 after Kufrin's season premiere of The Bachelorette, when screenshots revealed that he had previously liked several hateful and inflammatory memes on Instagram, including some that were racist and homophobic.

He apologized at the time, both in a statement when the initial news broke and again on After the Final Rose, where he said that his openly liberal fiancée had "helped me through everything."

"I feel like when I was liking things, it was going against things she stands for and that made it really hard on us as a couple," he said. "We got through that together and we're growing."

Kufrin acknowledged that the scandal was "a major thing that we had to talk about early on at the very beginning of our relationship."

"I, luckily, got to know him for who he is … so I got to see who he is, his heart, his soul," she said. "And the Instagram situation, I don't condone that and I know that he stands by his apology and he feels so bad for everyone that he did offend. I just want to move forward and to learn and to grown and to continue to educate ourselves. That's all that you can ask for in another person."

Speaking exclusively to PEOPLE at the time, Kufrin said of her fiancé, "at his core, he's a good guy."

"We've all made mistakes and done things that aren't perfect," she said. "But all I could ask for is somebody who owns up to what they've done and who apologizes and wants to grow. And that's what he's done."

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

  • Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
  • ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.
  • National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.