Tag Archives: Harris

Kamala Harris makes history as first woman of colour to take the oath of U.S. vice-president

U.S. Vice-President Kamala Harris broke the barrier Wednesday that has kept men at the top ranks of American power for more than two centuries when she took the oath to hold the nation’s second-highest office.

Harris was sworn in as the first female vice-president — and the first Black person and person of South Asian descent to hold the position — in front of the U.S. Capitol by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

The moment was steeped in history and significance in more ways than one. She was escorted to the podium by Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman, the officer who single-handedly took on a mob of Trump supporters as they tried to breach the Senate floor during the Capitol insurrection that sought to overturn the election results. Harris was wearing clothes from two young, emerging Black designers — a deep purple dress and coat.

After taking the oath of office, a beaming Harris hugged her husband, Douglas Emhoff, and gave President Joe Biden a first bump.


U.S. President Joe Biden and Harris share a fist-bump during the inauguration on Wednesday. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

Her rise is historic in any context, another moment when a stubborn boundary falls away, expanding the idea of what’s possible in American politics. But it’s particularly meaningful because Harris is taking office at a moment of deep consequence, with Americans grappling over the role of institutional racism and confronting a pandemic that has disproportionately devastated Black and brown communities.

Those close to Harris say she’ll bring an important — and often missing — perspective in the debates on how to overcome the many hurdles facing the new administration.

“In many folks’ lifetimes, we experienced a segregated United States,” said Lateefah Simon, a civil rights advocate and longtime Harris friend and mentee. “You will now have a Black woman who will walk into the White House not as a guest but as a second in command of the free world.”

WATCH | Kamala Harris is sworn in as U.S. vice-president:

History has been made in the United States with the swearing-in of Kamala Harris as vice-president. She is the first woman, the first Black American and the first South Asian American to ever hold the job. 1:14

Child of immigrants

Harris — the child of immigrants, a stepmother of two and the wife of a Jewish man — “carries an intersectional story of so many Americans who are never seen and heard,” said Simon.

Harris, 56, moves into the vice presidency just four years after she first came to Washington as a senator from California, where she’d served as attorney general and as San Francisco’s district attorney. She had expected to work with a White House run by Hillary Clinton, but President Donald Trump’s victory quickly scrambled the nation’s capital and set the stage for the rise of a new class of Democratic stars.

After Harris’ own presidential bid fizzled, her rise continued when Biden chose her as his running mate last August. Harris had been a close friend of Beau Biden, the elder son of Joe Biden and a former Delaware attorney general who died in 2015 of cancer.

The inauguration activities included nods to her history-making role and her personal story.

Sorority marks the day

Harris used two Bibles to take the oath, one that belonged to Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, the late civil rights icon whom Harris often cites as inspiration, and Regina Shelton, who helped raise Harris during her childhood in the San Francisco Bay Area. The drumline from Harris’ alma mater, Howard University, joined the presidential escort.

To mark the occasion, the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, the nation’s oldest sorority for Black women, which Harris joined at Howard University, declared Wednesday as Soror Kamala D. Harris Day.

“This event will certainly be a momentous occasion that will go down in the annals of our archives as one of the greatest days the founders’ of Alpha Kappa Alpha could have envisioned,” said Dr. Glenda Glover, the sorority’s international president and chief executive office.


Rep. Terri Sewell, wearing a mask with AKA, a reference to Alpha Kappa Alpha, the sorority of Harris, in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 20. The sorority declared Wednesday Soror Kamala D. Harris Day. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

She’ll address the nation later in front of the Lincoln Memorial, a symbolic choice as the nation endures one of its most divided stretches since the Civil War.

Biden, in his inaugural address, reflected on the 1913 march for women’s suffrage the day before President Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration, during which some marchers were heckled and attacked.

“Today, we mark the swearing in of the first woman in American history elected to national office, Vice President Kamala Harris. Don’t tell me things can’t change,” Biden said.


Harris leaves after the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States on the west front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. (Jonathan Ernst/Pool/Reuters)

Raised not to hear ‘no’

Harris has often reflected on her rise through politics by recalling the lessons of her mother, who taught her to take on a larger cause and push through adversity.

“I was raised to not hear `no.’ Let me be clear about it. So it wasn’t like, ‘Oh, the possibilities are immense. Whatever you want to do, you can do,'” she recalled during a CBS Sunday Morning interview that aired Sunday. “No, I was raised to understand many people will tell you, ‘It is impossible,’ but don’t listen.”

Harris’ swearing-in holds more symbolic weight than that of any vice president in modern times.

She will expand the definition of who gets to hold power in American politics, said Martha S. Jones, a professor of history at Johns Hopkins University and the author of Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All.

People who want to understand Harris and connect with her will have to learn what it means to graduate from a historically Black college and university rather than an Ivy League school, Jones said. They will have to understand Harris’ traditions, like the Hindu celebration of Diwali.

“Folks are going to have to adapt to her rather than her adapting to them,” Jones said.

Her election to the vice-presidency should be just the beginning of putting Black women in leadership positions, Jones said, particularly after the role Black women played in organizing and turning out voters in the November election.

“We will all learn what happens to the kind of capacities and insights of Black women in politics when those capacities and insights are permitted to lead,” Jones said.

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Joe Biden and Kamala Harris jointly named Time’s ‘Person of the Year’

U.S. president-elect Joe Biden and vice-president-elect Kamala Harris were jointly named Time magazine’s 2020 “Person of the Year” on Thursday, chosen from a list of finalists that included the man Biden vanquished at the polls – President Donald Trump.

The Democratic former vice-president and his running mate, a California senator whose election broke gender and racial barriers, together “offered restoration and renewal in a single ticket,” Time said in a profile of the pair, published online with its announcement.

Following the most tumultuous U.S. presidential campaign in modern times, waged in the throes of a deadly pandemic, economic devastation and a strife-torn national reckoning with racism, Biden and Harris prevailed in an election that drew the highest voter turnout in a century.

Time editor-in-chief and CEO Edward Felsenthal credited the victors with succeeding in “an existential debate over what reality we inhabit.”

“For changing the American story, for showing that the forces of empathy are greater than the furies of division, for sharing a vision of healing in a grieving world, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are Time’s 2020 Person of the Year.”

Trump, the 45th U.S. president and Time’s 2016 Person of the Year — so honoured a month after his upset election victory as the Republican nominee that year — was among three other finalists in the running this year, Time said.

The two others, both group candidates, were the healthcare workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic, and participants in the racial justice movement sparked by the May 25 killing of George Floyd, a Black man who died after a white Minneapolis officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.


Biden and Harris prevailed in an election that drew the highest voter turnout in a century. Time editor-in-chief and CEO Edward Felsenthal credited the victors with succeeding in “an existential debate over what reality we inhabit.” (Andrew Harnik/The Associated Press)

The Person of the Year is usually an individual, but multiple people have been named in the past. The title is one, according to the magazine, signifying “who affected the news or our lives the most, for better, or worse.”

Boy band BTS named Entertainer of the Year

Time began its tradition in 1927. Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg last year became the youngest individual winner of the accolade.

Biden, 78, who served two terms as vice-president to Barack Obama, will become the oldest person to assume the office of U.S. president when he is sworn in on Jan. 20. Harris will become the first woman, the first Black person and the first person of Asian descent to be inaugurated vice-president.

Trump, who has continued to espouse baseless claims that the 2020 election was rigged against him and that he is the rightful winner, is not expected to attend the inauguration.

Along with its Person of the Year honour, Time magazine named the Korean pop group BTS as its Entertainer of the Year, and basketball star LeBron James was crowned Athlete of the Year.

The winners and finalists for various categories were due to be feted during a prime-time special television broadcast on NBC on Thursday night.

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Election of Kamala Harris to U.S. vice-presidency ‘the beginning of something important,’ say women of colour

When the U.S. election was called for Joe Biden last Saturday and it became clear Kamala Harris would be the next vice-president of the U.S., Annamie Paul thought of the importance of the moment for her 84-year-old mother.

“I don’t think she ever believed that she would live to see this day,” said the recently elected leader of the Green Party, the first Black woman to head up a Canadian federal party.

“Where her daughter would be representing a national party in Canada and a Black woman would be the vice-president of the United States, and [that] one day, we might meet and shake hands and talk public policy together.”

Those things seemed impossible just a short time ago, Paul said. 

“Whenever a woman of colour is elected to an office that she has never occupied, it’s really not an overstatement to say that it makes people dream,” she said.

While she might not always agree with Harris’s policies, Paul said, the “more women that you see like her and me in politics, the more people come to understand that we don’t just speak with one voice, we represent many points of view.” 


‘One day we might meet and shake hands and talk public policy together,’ said New Green Party Leader Annamie Paul, pictured in Ottawa last month. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

A powerful symbol

For many women of colour, Harris’s victory serves as an inspiration, said former provincial politician Yolande James, the first Black woman elected to Quebec’s National Assembly in 2004.

“A lot of women, a lot of Black women, in particular, can speak to the struggle of knowing what it is to be talented, to be qualified and to be overlooked,” said James.

While Harris’s win won’t fix everything about gender and race discrimination, she said, seeing her on stage on Saturday delivering her first speech as vice-president-elect was a powerful symbol.

“It’s one thing to say that it’s possible, but when you see her, it’s like, now you know it,” she said.

WATCH | Kamala Harris’s win shows what’s possible:

For Canadian women and girls of colour, including politicians, Kamala Harris becoming the first Black and South Asian woman elected U.S. vice-president is a source of hope, excitement and shows what is possible. 2:23

Pivotal moment for women, girls

In her victory speech in Wilmington, Del., Harris evoked the generations of women who paved the way for her and those who will follow.

“While I may be the first woman in this office, I won’t be the last,” she told the cheering crowd.

Those words gave Kamal Khera, Liberal MP for Brampton West, goosebumps.

“It’s a pivotal moment for women and girls all around the globe, especially those that are racialized and specifically Black and South Asian women,” she said in an interview from her constituency office in Brampton, Ont.


Vice-president-elect Harris, left, and president-elect Joe Biden are pictured on Saturday in Wilmington, Del. (Andrew Harnik, Pool/AP Photo)

‘Representation matters’

When Khera was elected in 2015 at age 26, she was the youngest member of the Liberal caucus. That, along with being a South Asian woman, made for a challenging experience early on, she said.

“I didn’t have that many women to look up to or that looked like me in those leadership roles,” she said.

“That is why I think representation matters.”

While things have improved in the House of Commons since then, Khera said, there is still a lot of work to do. She said she hopes Harris’s win is a step toward better representation around the world.

WATCH | Women react to news that Kamala Harris will be the new U.S. vice-president:

Diverse American women describe what it means to them to have Kamala Harris elected as the first female vice president of the United States. 2:37

‘The beginning of something important’

When teacher Sabrina Jafralie heard about Harris’s win, she was sitting in her car in Montreal, full of cautious optimism and a feeling she was “floating on air.”

“As a mom, as a teacher, as a human, it’s amazing,” she said. “It felt heavy, and now I feel lighter.”


Sabrina Jafralie is an ethics and religious teacher at Westmount High School. She hopes her students will be similarly inspired and, seeing Harris, recognize their own potential to achieve. (Sarah Leavitt/CBC)

Jafralie teaches at Westmount High, the same school Harris attended as a teen while her mother taught at McGill University and did research at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal. Harris graduated from the high school in 1981.

Like Harris, one of Jafralie’s parents is Black and the other is Indian. Seeing someone who looks like her in such a significant role is a major milestone, she said.

“It makes me wonder, maybe I should become the minister of education. It’s very, very inspiring.”

Jafraliee hopes her students at Westmount High will be similarly inspired and, seeing Harris, recognize their own potential to achieve.

“I want to tell them it’s not a one-off,” she said. “If anything, it’s the beginning of something important.”

WATCH | Friends react to Harris’s historic rise to the White House:

Wanda Kagan has known vice president-elect Kamala Harris for nearly 40 years. Kagan says that in their most recent conversation, Harris credited her for inspiring her career path. 4:35

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Why Kamala Harris wants a plexiglass barrier at tonight’s U.S. vice-presidential debate

Now that the global pandemic has been thrust back onto centre stage of the American presidential election, Democrats intend to keep the focus there.

Literally.

The party has requested that a plexiglass barrier be erected on stage between Democrat Kamala Harris and Republian Mike Pence when the vice-presidential candidates debate Wednesday night.

Republican staff eye-rolled at the idea: “If Sen. Harris wants to use a fortress around herself, have at it,” Pence spokesperson Katie Miller was quoted telling Politico.

There are two good reasons why Democrats want that glass there. And why Republicans aren’t as keen.

For starters, there’s epidemiological safety.

The novel coronavirus has ripped through the administration’s ranks, adding more White House staffers to the list on a daily basis and fraying nerves across Washington.

The virus has struck both the above-quoted staffer Katie Miller, and, in the last few days, her husband, White House aide and immigration hardliner Stephen Miller.  

Just last week Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden was standing on a debate stage with President Donald Trump, shortly before Trump announced he’d contracted the illness.


White House senior advisor Stephen Miller, seen here in July, on Tuesday became the latest staffer to publicly reveal he had COVID-19. ( Tom Brenner/Reuters)

Biden called his opponent’s behaviour irresponsible. After the debate, he told an NBC town hall how he noticed the president’s entourage gathered indoors without masks.

“It was a little disconcerting to look out and see that, his whole section, no one had masks on,” Biden said.

“Look, anybody who contracts the virus by essentially saying, ‘Masks don’t matter. Social distancing doesn’t matter,’ I think is responsible for what happens to them.”

Advantage Democrats

Trump has never actually said those things. He has, however, avoided wearing masks in public — and occasionally teased people who do, including Biden.

He has also hosted political events believed to have contributed to the spread, where people avoided wearing masks and socialized in close quarters.

Now he’s complaining Democrats spend too much time talking about the virus that has killed more than 200,000 Americans and sent him to hospital.


And that points to the second reason Democrats want to elevate this issue in the final weeks of a campaign: political advantage.

Polling data consistently shows Trump getting lower marks for his handling of the virus. 


Trump left hospital and filmed a video at the White House in which he told Americans “don’t be afraid” of the virus, and urged them to “get out there.” (Erin Scott/Reuters)

“It weighs on the Trump-Pence ticket constantly,” said David Byler, a data analyst and columnist at the Washington Post.

Trump has tried to move the election focus elsewhere — street violence, radical leftists, China, the Supreme Court, anywhere but that virus.

His effort was complicated by the fact that he, personally, was flown to and from hospital by helicopter and briefly given supplemental oxygen.


Biden keeps pushing the issue to the fore, for instance encouraging national rules for mask-wearing.

And time is running low for Trump to flip the campaign script.

WATCH | How will Trump cope with COVID-19 now that he’s back in the White House:

Former assistant U.S. surgeon general Dr. Ali S. Khan and infectious disease specialist Dr. Susy Hota discuss President Donald Trump’s release from hospital following treatment for COVID-19, including what treatments or symptoms could be next and if there should be concern for those around Trump. 6:06

Bruising batch of polls for Trump 

The president has gotten brutal polling numbers lately, including some showing double-digit deficits nationally and in the critical state of Pennsylvania.   

It’s a bit early to gauge the effect of his illness on public opinion, but Biden’s margins inched up nationally by several points after last week’s first presidential debate, and he gained a bit of ground in Florida, too.

Byler said Biden appears to have received a post-debate bump of a couple of percentage points — what’s less clear is whether the bump will last.

He said one possibility is the gap will revert to the norm, meaning a decent national lead for Biden with tighter margins in key states, making the race too close to safely predict.

Another possibility? “This is blastoff time, and it becomes a true [Biden] landslide.” 


U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence and U.S. Sen. and Democratic vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris will debate each other Wednesday night, starting at 9 p.m. ET. CBCNews.ca will stream the debate live. (Martin H. Simon, David Becker/Getty Images )

He’s skeptical tonight’s debate will affect the race. Vice-presidential debates tend to have smaller audiences than presidential debates, and research from past elections shows little evidence of an impact.

VP debates have little impact

The Gallup polling company said in 2012 that none of the eight previous vice-presidential debates occurring since 1976 meaningfully altered voter preferences.

Might it be different this time? 

Given the age of the two presidential candidates – Trump is 74 and Biden is 77 – there are higher-than-usual odds of Pence or Harris being elevated to the top job.


Vice-presidential debates have tended to get lower ratings (except 2008), and haven’t had much electoral impact. (Pew Research)

“I’m doubtful,” said Daron Shaw, a Republican pollster, university professor and co-director of the Fox News poll. 

“I don’t know that the … ballot margin has ever moved more than one point in response to a VP debate. …  This race has been defined throughout by attitudes towards President Trump, and I expect that to continue.”

That doesn’t mean a vice-presidential debate can’t be informative. They sometimes tell an interesting tale about the state of American politics.

Pence’s staunch defence of Trump in 2016 foreshadowed how establishment Republicans would eventually rally around the then-party outsider.

Tonight, on a stage in Utah, he’ll be nearly four metres away from Harris. And she’s demanded that they be separated by a glass shield.

WATCH | See how Pence fared in his last vice-presidential debate in 2016— against Democratic opponent Tim Kaine:

VP candidates on Donald Trump releasing his tax returns 1:07

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Walt Harris loses to Alistair Overeem by TKO in emotional UFC return

Walt Harris lost his first UFC fight since the death of his stepdaughter.

Alistair Overeem stopped Harris in the second round of UFC’s Fight Night main event Saturday in Jacksonville, Fla., ending what was an emotional return for the heavyweight fighter known as The Big Ticket.

Harris was a slight favourite and the sentimental choice as he entered the octagon for the first time since his 19-year-old daughter, Aniah Blanchard, was killed in Alabama.

Harris (13-8) pointed to the sky while showing off a “Fighting for Aniah” T-shirt as he walked into the arena. It appeared he would notch his 14th career knockout when he dropped Overeem in the opening round. But the veteran regrouped on the eve of his 40th birthday and dominated the rest of the way.

Overeem (46-18) sent Harris to the mat for the final time with an unblocked combination early in the second.

Harris never recovered, and the referee called it after a bevy of unanswered shots to the head. Overeem shared a moment with Harris on the mat.

‘Being here is a win for him’

Harris thanked the UFC, his team and his community while fighting back tears.

“I’m sorry I didn’t get the W for you tonight,” Harris said. “You’ve been like my family through everything, and I’m so grateful. … Y’all at home watching, I’m sorry. I’ll be back better, I promise you. You haven’t seen the last of The Big Ticket. I’m going to go home, recover. I’m going to heal emotionally and physically, and I promise you I’ll be better.”

UFC president Dane White echoed Harris’ pledge.

“Win, lose or draw, being here is a win for him,” White said. “He got through tonight and who knows what was going through that guy’s body, head, the whole deal. … He’ll get better from this, in every way you can be better — from fighting to the other things that are going on with him.”

Harris’ wife encouraged him to return to the octagon after more than six months of grieving.

Blanchard, a student at Alabama, was last seen on Oct. 23 in Auburn, Ala. Her SUV was found abandoned days later more than 90 kilometres away in Montgomery. Police said her blood was found in the car. Her remains were discovered in a wooded area in late November.

2-week break

Ibraheem Yazeed, 29, was charged with capital murder. The medical examiner determined Blanchard died from a gunshot wound. Prosecutors have indicated they will seek the death penalty if Yazeed is convicted.

Harris and Overeem had been slated to fight in April, but the bout was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. It landed as the main event for the UFC’s third show in Jacksonville in eight days, all part of the series’ return following an eight-week hiatus.

The UFC will take the next two weeks off before fighting May 30. It hopes to return to Las Vegas, but first needs clearance from the Nevada Athletic Commission. If not, White said it will be held in Arizona.

Other fights on the main card:

  • Claudia Gadelha (18-4) held off Angela Hill (12-8) in the strawweight division and won a split decision. Hill controlled the pace, making it more of a sparring bout than a grappling game, but Gadelha got the nod on two of the three scorecards.
  • Dan Ige (14-2) edged Edson Barboza (20-9) in another split decision. Ige’s sixth straight victory came in the featherweight division. Barboza cut 10 pounds to move down a weight class.
  • Krzysztof Jotko (22-4) beat former Alabama linebacker Eryk Anders (13-5) in a middleweight bout. Jotko did a break dance in the middle of the octagon after his third consecutive victory.
  • Song Yadong withstood Marlon Vera’s last push in the opening fight of the main card and won a unanimous decision in the featherweight division. Vera (17-6-1) refused to shake hands with Song (5-0-1) after the result was announced. Song, of China, had visa issues and wasn’t sure he would be able to fight until Friday.

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Kamala Harris drops out of 2020 Democratic race to be president

Sen. Kamala Harris has ended her campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

In an email to supporters, she said it was one of the hardest decisions of her life. 

“But I want to be clear with you,” she wrote, “I am still very much in this fight. And I will keep fighting every day for what this campaign has been about. Justice for The People. All the people.”

Her decision to exit the race comes after months of trying to regain the momentum from her January campaign launch, which drew 20,000 people in her home state of California.

Harris, 55, positioned herself as a unifying candidate who could energize the Democratic Party’s base of young, diverse progressives while also appealing to more moderate voters.


Yet after climbing into double digits in opinion polls following a strong debate performance in June, Harris slid out of the top tier in recent months and lags behind leading candidates’ fundraising hauls.

Her campaign suffered from what allies and critics viewed as an inconsistent message. Her slogan “for the people” referred to her career as a prosecutor, a record the campaign struggled to pitch to the party’s most progressive voters.

Through the summer, she focused on pocketbook issues and her “3 a.m. agenda,” a message that never seemed to resonate with voters.

By the fall, she had returned to her courtroom roots with the refrain that “justice is on the ballot,” both a cry for economic and social justice and a suggestion that she could “prosecute the case” against a “criminal” president.

There were also public complaints by former staffers that her staff was being treated poorly.

“She just hasn’t quite satisfactorily answered the ‘what makes you better than the other candidates’ question,” said a longtime aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “That’s the underlying biggest thing. She hasn’t quite sufficiently explained her rationale for herself.”

Joel Payne, an African-American strategist who worked for Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential campaign, said Harris failed to find her own identity as she tried to own the space on the political spectrum between progressives such as U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and moderates such as former vice-president Joe Biden.”


Senator Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders stand together onstage before the start of the U.S. Democratic presidential candidates debate in Atlanta Nov. 20.  (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

I think she probably ended up alienating both camps,” he said.

Harris had qualified for the upcoming December debate, which will be held in her home state. Her departure could leave a stage of only white competitors. Two minority candidates, U.S. Senator Cory Booker and former federal housing chief Julian Castro, remain in the race but neither has qualified for the debate.

Payne said Harris exited the race at the right time before potentially embarrassing losses, which will help her preserve her political future.

He could envision several remaining candidates, including Warren, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, or even Biden choosing her as their vice-presidential nominee.

Joe Biden says he has ‘mixed emotions’ on hearing that Kamala Harris has dropped out of the Democratic presidential race. 0:21

Harris will remain California’s junior senator until her term ends, but vowed in her email Tuesday to “do everything in my power to defeat Donald Trump and fight for the future of our country and the best of who we are.”


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Homegrown hero Andrew Harris helps Blue Bombers end 29-year Grey Cup drought

Andrew Harris rushed for one touchdown and caught another, as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers ended a 29-year championship drought by beating the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 33-12 in the 107th Grey Cup in Calgary.

The Canadian running back, who hails from Winnipeg, opened the scoring with a 15-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and caught an 18-yard touchdown pass from Chris Streveler in the second quarter.

The Bombers, who reached the final by eliminating the top two teams in the West — Saskatchewan and Calgary — hadn’t won the Grey Cup since 1990.

The Ticats, who finished with a league best 15-3 record during the regular season, now hold the dubious distinction of owning the longest active Grey Cup drought, with their last title coming 20 years ago in 1999.

More to come.

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Neil Patrick Harris Is in Talks to Join ‘Matrix 4’

Neil Patrick Harris Is in Talks to Join ‘Matrix 4’ | Entertainment Tonight

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Blue Bombers’ Andrew Harris suspended after positive drug test

The Canadian Football League has suspended Winnipeg Blue Bombers star running back Andrew Harris for two games after he tested positive for a banned substance.

“I’m still in shock and disbelief at the news. I immediately thought there had to be some kind of mistake,” Harris said in a statement released Monday morning.

“I am devastated by the idea of missing two important games with my teammates. More importantly, I want football fans and young athletes around this country to know that I have not and would never cheat.”

The Bombers football club said it fully supports the CFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs and has fully co-operated with the CFL.

“The Winnipeg Football Club also supports Andrew Harris through this extremely difficult and unfortunate situation. We look forward to Andrew rejoining us on the field,” a statement from the team said.

Neither the league nor the team has revealed the nature of the substance.

Tested many times

“Throughout my four years playing here in Winnipeg, I have been drug tested more than any other player on our team to the point that it has become a running joke within our locker room,” Harris, 32, said in his statement.

“This year alone I’ve been tested three times: The first time on March 1, 2019, in the off-season, followed by July 2 (blood and urine samples), and finally 10 days later on July 12 through a urine sample.

“Somehow on July 12, just 10 days after a test that came back completely clean, I was notified that I had tested positive for the first time in my career with very small trace of a banned substance.”


Andrew Harris, seen running the ball for a touchdown against the Toronto Argonauts earlier this season, said he want football fans and young athletes around the country to know he would never cheat. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

Harris said he was not using a banned substance for performance-enhancing purposes, nor was he aware he was taking any supplements with any banned substances in them.

“This is clearly a case of product contamination,” he said.

“People know my history and my background, and I have always taken tremendous pride in having overcome adversity through sheer force of will. I would never risk my career and the respect of my teammates, coaches and the fans in this manner.”

The all-star is in his 10th CFL season and is leading the league in rushing yards. He won the past two rushing titles and no Winnipeg tailback has ever claimed three straight.

Earlier this month, he solidified his spot in the CFL record book by becoming the all-time CFL leader among Canadian players for yards from scrimmage and also made it into the league’s top 10 all-time rushing list.

“As someone who has coached Andrew for four seasons now, I know first-hand the hard work and dedication he puts into his career as a true professional,” Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea said in a statement from the team.

“While this is an extremely unfortunate situation, I support Andrew and look forward to his return in a few weeks.”

Harris said he spends countless hours training, running, studying and putting in “blood sweat and tears” to be in condition to play his top game.

“I take a lot of pride in the honest blue-collar work I’ve put in to reach this point in my career. This is why this announcement is very difficult for me,” his statement says.

“I pride myself on being not only a great role model to my daughter and youth throughout our country, but to my peers as well. As unsettling and painful as this is to me and my family, I hope this can be a helpful reminder to all athletes about being extremely cautious and aware of what they are taking and putting into their bodies.

“I’m very sorry to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for this unexpected result, and I can’t wait to rejoin my teammates and the city of Winnipeg in our quest to bring a Grey Cup to this wonderful city that I am fortunate enough to call home.”

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