Emmanuel Acho, a former NFL linebacker and Fox Sports analyst, accepted the rose and will host "The Bachelor: After the Final Rose" next month.
Acho will host the post-season episode that airs on ABC on March 15 at 10 p.m. ET. It follows the season finale of the show featuring bachelor Matt James, the first Black man to star in the franchise. He played wide receiver for Wake Forest from 2011-14 and participated in the Carolina Panthers' rookie minicamp in 2015.
Acho to host 'Bachelor' post-finale show
Acho, 30, is taking over for longtime "The Bachelor" franchise host Chris Harrison, who is at the center of controversy for defending a racially insensitive social media post by a contestant. Harrison announced a few weeks ago he would be "stepping aside for a period of time" and would not host the special episode following the season finale.
"It's been a pivotal season, and this episode will hopefully be one of the most stories shows in TV history," Acho wrote on his social media accounts. "Empathy is needed and change is coming. Share the news! I'll see y'all then!"
Acho is the author of the 2020 bestselling book, "Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man." He also hosts a video series of the same name featuring guests that includes NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
Acho takes 'The Bachelor' role in wake of racial controversy
Harrison received blowback after defending Rachael Kirkconnell, a frontrunner on the show who was reportedly photographed at an antebellum plantation-themed fraternity formal in 2018.
In an interview with "Extra" corespondent and former "The Bachelorette" star Rachel Lindsay, Harrison said the pictures were from a long time ago. He argued the photos aren't a good look in 2021, but "that was not the case in 2018." He apologized for the comments.
Per an ABC release announcing the news, Acho "will sit down with Bachelor Matt James to discuss his season, his final decision and where he is now, as well as cover the current events about the franchise. Acho will also speak with the final three women, Bri, Michelle and Rachael during the one-hour special."
The Cleveland Browns drafted Acho in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL draft. The linebacker did not play a game there in his first NFL season. He played in 20 games over two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles before joining the TV ranks.
His brother is nine-year NFL veteran Sam Acho, a vice president of the NFL Players Association.
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