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Rachel Lindsay is kicking off her turn as ABC’s 13th Bachelorette with historic moments: She’s the first African-American lead in the 33 combined seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, leads the most diverse cast in its 15-year history, and has made Kareem Abdul-Jabbar a Bachelor believer.
Jabbar wrote an op-ed for The Hollywood Reporter in January ahead of Nick Viall’s Bachelor season about why the franchise kills romance in America. To prove the critic wrong, ABC invited the former NBA superstar on set for a group date that will be featured on Lindsay’s season where he was convinced otherwise.
THR spoke with the ABC reality star (who revealed she’s happily engaged) about having the legend on set, the pressure she feels from the African-American community, and why men of color last longer on her season than in years past.
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