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Emmanuel Acho to host 'The Bachelor: After the Final Rose' special

Author and Fox Sports broadcaster Emmanuel Acho will

Author and Fox Sports broadcaster Emmanuel Acho will host the March 15 "The Bachelor: After the Final Rose" special on ABC. Credit: Getty Images for SiriusXM / TNS / Cindy Ord

NFL pro turned sportscaster Emmanuel Acho, author of the bestseller "Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man," is replacing Chris Harrison as host of this season's "The Bachelor" post-show, "After the Final Rose."

After ABC made the announcement on social media Saturday, Acho, 30, posted on Twitter: "IT'S OFFICIAL: I've accepted the Rose & am honored to be hosting the @bachelorabc After the Final Rose this year. It's been a pivotal season & this episode will be one of the most storied shows in its history. Empathy is needed and change is coming."

On his Instagram account, one sentence is tweaked to read "this episode will hopefully be one of the most storied shows in TV history." Current "Bachelor" star Matt James commented, "Looking forward to it."

Acho in separate tweets added, "It's an honor and a privilege" and "Life comes at you fast." In an Instagram Stories video, he said excitedly that he was shooting "my first national commercial," presumably for the episode. "But more importantly for now, a shout out for you all. The support for me being announced as host of 'After the Final Rose' has been overwhelmingly supportive. Bachelor Nation, please welcome me with open arms! I promise to do you all proud."

On Twitter, he posted a similarly worded video, adding: "Bachelor Nation, thanks for receiving me with open arms. I promise to handle it well."

Harrison, 49, voluntarily stepped down indefinitely from his "Bachelor"-franchise duties following a widely criticized Feb. 9 interview on "Extra" in which he excused season front-runner Rachael Kirkconnell for past racist actions. Both Harrison and Kirkconnell, 24, have since apologized.

His interviewer, "Extra" correspondent Rachel Lindsay, the first African-American star of sister series "The Bachelorette," took down her Instagram account Friday after being trolled by those defending Harrison. Her "Higher Learning" podcast co-host, Van Lathan, subsequently implored on Instagram to "leave Rachel … alone. This harassment is going too far. … @chrisbharrison are you okay with people getting at Rachel to the point she can't even exist on IG. Is anyone from the entire 'Bachelor Nation' going to stand up and condemn this harassment of a Black woman?"

Kirkconnell did so in a long Instagram post Saturday, writing in part, "Rachel Lindsay and other BIPOC [Black, Indigenous and people of color] have called for myself [sic] and others to be held accountable. This is needed, and she does not deserve the hate she is receiving. Recognize that she along with every person you send hateful messages to, are human. We are real people, and she should not have to disable her account to escape this toxicity. This is not okay. She is doing the hard work that needs to be done for change, and does not deserve to be silenced or ridiculed. If you are someone that has been cruel, find what fuels this hate in your heart, and fix it."

"The Bachelor: After the Final Rose" airs March 15, and is set to include Kirkconnell and fellow finalists Bri Springs and Michelle Young.

Acho, a linebacker with the Philadelphia Eagles from 2013 to 2015, broadcasts for Fox Sports. Kirkus Reviews said his book, released in November, discusses "difficult topics with the depth of an engaged cultural thinker and the style of an experienced wordsmith … seeking to sow understanding even if it means risking just a little discord."

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