Austin football star scores gig as Bachelor finale host amid ongoing controversy
The upcoming The Bachelor: After the Final Rose post-finale special will feature a decidedly Austin vibe.
Former University of Texas football player Emmanuel Acho will host the March 9 show after longtime The Bachelor and The Bachelorette host Chris Anderson — a native Texan and soon-to-be resident of Austin — stirred controversy following his defense of racist behavior by one of this year’s three Bachelor finalists. Harrison and the finalist, Rachael Kirkconnell, have since apologized. Harrison recently announced that he’s stepping aside from the Bachelor and Bachelorette franchise “for a period of time.”
The commotion comes amid a national reckoning about racial injustice and as Matt James wraps up his season as the first Black star of The Bachelor.
On the After the Rose special, Acho — author of the 2020 New York Times bestseller Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, which shares its title with his hit YouTube series — undoubtedly will engage in some uncomfortable conversations about race and racism. James and Kirkconnell will appear on the episode, along with finalists Bri Springs and Michelle Young.
“It’s been a pivotal season, and this episode will hopefully be one of the most storied shows in TV history,” Acho wrote February 27 on Instagram. “Empathy is needed and change is coming. Share the news! I’ll see y’all then!” Acho added that he loves “being a bridge for reconciliation.”
Acho, a Dallas native, played for the Longhorn football team in the 2008 through 2011 seasons. In 2012, the Cleveland Browns drafted the linebacker and subsequently traded him to the Philadelphia Eagles. He spent four seasons in the NFL before jumping into sports broadcasting, starting at the Austin-based Longhorn Network in 2016. Today, he co-hosts FS1 sports network’s Speak for Yourself talk show.
Acho earned a bachelor’s degree in sports management and a master’s degree in sports psychology from UT. Emmanuel’s brother, Sam Acho, also played for the Longhorns and in the NFL.