'Bachelorette' Garrett Apologizes for Liking Hateful Memes ... 'I Am Not Perfect'

5/31/2018 7:00 PM PDT

'Bachelorette' Contestant Garrett Apologizes for Liking Hateful Memes

'Bachelorette' contestant Garrett -- the suitor who got Becca's first impression rose on Monday's season premiere -- is the latest to jump on the apology train this week ... in his case, for liking bigoted memes.

Garrett Yrigoyen spoke up Thursday evening after coming under fire when it was discovered he liked Instagram posts mocking transgender people, Parkland shooting survivors and immigrants ... then deleting his account.

Garrett owned up to it -- via a new Instagram account -- saying ... "I am sorry to those who I offended, and I also take full responsibility for my ‘likes’ on Instagram that were hurtful and offensive."

He also explains why he started a new account, adding ... "I decided to take it down and start fresh because I have learned an extremely valuable lesson and am taking steps to grow, become more educated, and be a better version of myself. I am not perfect, and I will never be anywhere close, but now I will always be more informed and aware of what I am liking and supporting, not just on Instagram, but in life.”

We broke the story ... Garrett APPEARS to be the guy Becca picks in the finale -- based on photos we obtained of them filming it -- but when we saw Becca out this week ... she didn't seem too concerned about his controversy.