"I wholeheartedly apologize for the insensitive photo of me in Blackface from my high school yearbook that has been circulating," Erich wrote Thursday on Instagram.
"What I thought at the time was a representation of my love for Jimi Hendrix, was nothing but ignorance. I was naive to the hurtful implications of my actions to the Black community and those closest to me, and will forever regret my offensive and damaging behavior."
Erich continued, "I am deeply ashamed by my actions and understand that my apology is only the first step in taking accountability."
Erich is the only man left on The Bachelorette's nineteenth season who is competing for Gabby's heart.
After hometown dates, Gabby endured mutual breakups with both Jason Alabaster and Johnny DePhillipo because the men had admitted they weren't ready to get engaged at the end of the process.
Nate Mitchell, who fell short of a hometown date because Gabby wasn't prepared to be a stepmom, addressed Erich's apology on Thursday.
"Appreciate you taking ownership bro, I can't absolve you of this but I can attest to the man I've met and you have been nothing less than someone who I'd consider a friend," Nate wrote.
"You aren't the first person I've befriended with a similar past and the difference is not having an attitude of willful ignorance. Your school accepting this behavior and posting this to a yearbook tells me that no peers or faculty around you spoke out to guide you away from this issue."