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Matt James Says He's 'Excited' to Tell 'Diverse' Love Stories on The Bachelor

People logo People 6/30/2020 Eric Todisco
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Newly-named Bachelor Matt James is ready to start handing out roses and find the love of his life.

James, 28, opened up about becoming the first Black Bachelor during Monday's episode of The Bachelor: Greatest Seasons—Ever! to host Chris Harrison.

The former NFL wide receiver, who was joined by his roommate and Bachelorette runner-up, Tyler Cameron, said the reception to him becoming the new Bachelor has been overwhelmingly positive.

"It's been nice, cause, to be honest with you, I've heard from a lot of my Black friends that aren't Bachelor Nation faithful, that are excited about me and are honored I'm in the position I'm in and have this opportunity to just represent what it's going to look like to have diverse relationships and tell those love stories," he said.

"I couldn't be more excited about that," James added.

a man smiling for the camera: Matt James/Instagram Matt James © Provided by People Matt James/Instagram Matt James

But Bachelor fans aren't the only people excited for Matt's upcoming journey to find love. Ready for her son to start a family, James' mother may be more excited than the entirety of Bachelor Nation.

"I think the grandkid counter for my mom started when the announcement was made," James shared.

When Cameron, 27, asked his pal how many grandkids his mom wants, the new Bachelor said, "She wants a basketball team. I'll have a mini van, as many as we can fit."

a man sitting on a motorcycle: Matt James/Instagram © Provided by People Matt James/Instagram

James' historic Bachelor casting was announced earlier this month on Good Morning America with a statement from ABC regarding the show's diversity.

"We know we have a responsibility to make sure the love stories we’re seeing onscreen are representative of the world we live in, and we are proudly in service to our audience," the statement read. "This is just the beginning, and we will continue to take action with regard to diversity issues on this franchise. We feel so privileged to have Matt as our first Black Bachelor and we cannot wait to embark on this journey with him.”

The N.Y.C.-based commercial realtor was originally meant to compete for Clare Crawley's heart on the upcoming season of The Bachelorette, which was put on pause due to the coronavirus pandemic.

James' new role comes after Bachelor Nation called for more diversity in the franchise, with thousands rallying around a new petition that called on ABC and executive producer Mike Fleiss to cast more people of color.

As of Tuesday morning, the active petition has garnered more than 135,000 signatures.

Gallery: Peter! Hannah! Bachelor Nation Reacts to Matt James as 1st Black Bachelor (US Weekly)


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