Retired NFL Player Akbar Gbajabiamila to Join ‘The Talk’ as Second Male Host Following Elaine Welteroth’s Departure

Just one day after losing its third co-host this year, “The Talk” has announced another new co-host. The talk show is continuing to diversify its panel, and has hired Akbar Gbajabiamila, who is not only a retired NFL player but also the author of “Everybody Can Be a Ninja: Find Your Inner Warrior and Achieve Your Dreams.”

Gbajabiamila is only the show’s second male host in the program’s history, with actor Jerry O’Connell, who was hired earlier this year, being the first. The 42-year-old shared the “exciting news” with his followers on both Instagram and Twitter. On his Instagram page he wrote, “Praise God for this exciting news. It is an absolute honor to be joining @thetalkcbs as a host! I am so excited for this new generation of such a hallmark establishment in daytime television. To be a part of this diverse group, is truly a dream and a new statement for ‘The Talk.’ “

Akbar Gbajabiamila attends the NBC and Universal EMMY nominee celebration at Tesse Restaurant on August 13, 2019 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rachel Luna/WireImage)

The final part of his caption read, “In a world as divided as ours, I look forward to showing up as my fun and authentic self everyday and advocating for conversation over confrontation. My prayer is that I will add value to the consciousness of our viewers and make this world a better place.” Since Twitter allows a limited amount of characters, Gbajabiamila’s Twitter caption was a shorter variation of his Instagram one.

These new host additions come months after a live disharmony between longtime hosts Sharon Osborne and Sheryl Underwood. Days after the incident, Osborne left the show and was replaced by O’Connell months later. Following Osborne in her exit was Carrie Ann Inaba, who left in August citing that she was “excited for the next chapter both for [herself] and for the show.” Two weeks later, Elaine Welteroth also announced her departure as host but stated that she has some “upcoming creative projects soon.”

Now “The Talk” hosts include Amanda Kloots, Underwood, O’Connell, and Gbajabiamila. Gbajabiamila’s professional football playing days began in 2003 when he joined the Oakland Raiders. He later went on to play for the San Diego Chargers and the Miami Dolphins and ended his career in 2008 with the Oakland Raiders. After leaving the football world, Gbajabiamila turned his attention to the broadcasting sphere.

He became an analyst for CBS Sports and Mountain Network and is currently the host for “American Ninja Warrior” and “American Ninja Warrior Junior.” Last year, he executive produced the film “Sylvie’s Love.” Now, he’s more than ready for his next venture as co-host of “The Talk” after seeking former NFL player and current “Good Morning America” co-host Michael Strahan’s assistance.

Gbajabiamila told People that he “cold-called” Strahan and asked if he could shadow him while he hosted. Showing his gratitude to Strahan for allowing him the opportunity to learn, he said, “He was just dropping me dimes, just like, nuggets here and there, here and there. And so I’m forever grateful for that time and that opportunity.”

Gbajabiamila will make his debut on the show at the start of its 12th season, which begins on Sept. 13.

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