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UT graduate and former NFL linebacker Emmanuel Acho has "accepted the rose" and will host "The Bachelor" franchise's latest special.

Although there's been no word on whether or not he will replace longtime host Chris Harrison for upcoming Bachelor seasons, Acho will be the interim host for "The Bachelor: After the Final Rose" episode.

In the special, Acho will interview Bachelor Matt James and his final three, Rachael Kirkconnell, Michelle Young and Bri Springs. The episode is meant to be a tell-all about the season's drama and will air after the audience knows who gets the ring and who goes home.

Before the Bachelor, Acho made a name for himself at UT, making first-team All-Big 12 linebacker and leading the team in tackles his senior year. Acho went on to play for both the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles before joining the sports analyst world in 2016, where he currently works for Fox Sports.

Perhaps most importantly, Acho became a social justice activist who started a social media series that later turned into a book addressing racism titled "Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man" in 2020. The book sold 18,000 copies in one day and is meant to confront racial ignorance in America today.

If kept on, Acho hosting could be a meaningful step toward change in a Bachelor franchise riddled with controversy. Most recently, host Chris Harrison made news after appearing to defend contestant Rachael Kirkconnell's participation in an antebellum South-themed fraternity party. In an interview on "Extra" with former Bachelorette Rachael Lindsay, Harrison commented on the "woke police" and how different racial issues were in 2018 versus today.

Kirkconnell eventually apologized after it was discovered that she also liked Confederate flag-related posts, but the controversy still remains. The incident seems to be the final straw for many fans who have long noticed racial insensitivity in the Bachelor franchise.

This December, Harrison further spurred on Bachelor exit rumors after he said he would be moving to Austin, but no confirmation has been made.

Whether an activist for racial injustice such as Acho remains the host or has just stepped in for the moment is yet to be seen. The tell-all will air March 15 after the season's finale.



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