The Bachelor's Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell Cozy Up for Date Night at 2021 ESPY Awards
Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell walked the red carpet together, and he also posed for a photo with sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson backstage
The Bachelor couple attended the 2021 ESPY Awards on Saturday night in New York City, smiling together on the red carpet before the awards show. James, 29, wore a plaid suit and sunglasses as Kirkconnell, 24, wore a black dress for the event.
On his Instagram Story, James also shared a photo from the ESPYs, posing with sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson — who did not make the women's 4x100m relay team in the Tokyo Olympics after a positive marijuana test at the track and field trials — while mingling. This was Richardson's first public appearance since she was sanctioned earlier this month.
James and Kirkconnell rekindled their romance after breaking up following filming for The Bachelor.
While Kirkconnell received James' final rose, they revealed on the After the Final Rose special in March that they had broken up after photos of Kirkconnell attending an antebellum plantation–themed party in 2018 resurfaced on social media. She has since apologized and said she is "learning and will continue to learn how to be antiracist."
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The following month, James flew Kirkconnell to New York City to "stay with him," a source close to Kirkconnell told PEOPLE at the time. The former contestant believed they were going to mend their relationship, and was disappointed when that didn't happen right away.
A woman claiming to be James' ex said he had spoken with her just days before inviting Kirkconnell to stay with him in New York, which the source said made Kirkconnell feel that James had "broken her trust."
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The pair seemed to have worked through it all, as James then confirmed to PEOPLE in April that he and Kirkconnell were now exclusively dating. In May, he said on the Pomp podcast that they got back together after she gave him an "ultimatum."
"She was like, 'If you're going to make this work, let's do it. But, if you're not going to make it work, I'm going to let you do your own thing,' " he said at the time. "That's really all I needed. It was an ultimatum that I needed. It's been great. It was honestly a commitment that we made to each other that we were going to work on the relationship."
James continued, "There were rough patches in our relationship [and] we actually broke up for a moment. We're back together [now]. Everything we've been through, everything she's been through, she's stuck right by my side. She's continued to have a positive attitude. It's one of the many things I love about her."
The 2021 ESPY Awards, hosted by Anthony Mackie, are broadcasting live on ABC from The Rooftop at Pier 17 at the Seaport in New York City on Saturday.