Chris Harrison is stepping away from ‘Bachelor’ duties — including moderating the ‘After the Final Rose’ ceremony — and is once again apologizing for defending a contestant’s alleged racist past.

The longtime ‘Bachelor’ host issued a new, lengthier apology Saturday … this after he posted a quick one on Instagram a couple days ago that many felt was not up to par in addressing his recent remarks. Some said he was dismissive and excusing of racist behavior alleged against Rachael Kirkconnell — one of the final few women vying for Matt James‘ heart.

Chris’ statement is much more heartfelt than perhaps his initial remarks. He says … "I have spent the last few days listening to the pain my words have caused, and I am deeply remorseful. My ignorance did damage to my friends, colleagues and strangers alike."

He goes on to say by excusing historical racism, he defended it … and now realizes that was wrong, especially doing so in an interview with none other than Rachel Lindsay, the franchise’s first Black ‘Bachelorette.’ He says he’s been educated and open to being taught more about this topic, and promises to be more mindful about these issues in the future.