HUMAN series: Episode 1 Andrew Harris
46:48 | Mar 17, 2021
A two-time Grey Cup champ, Andrew is a man of integrity who’s battled through adversity his whole life. Despite growing up without a dad and having to switch schools in grade 12, he didn’t fold.
Andrew also took advantage of the opportunities presented to him. His grades weren’t up to par for university football, so he made a name for himself in junior instead. He won three national championships with the Vancouver Island Raiders, but more importantly, became a father.
The birth of his daughter Hazel enhanced his sense of purpose and increased his maturity. When he played for the BC Lions, he knew he was playing for more than just himself and his teammates.
“It was definitely an environment where I started to grow. I wasn't perfect by any means, but [having Hazel] made a big difference in my life. It gave me a little more sense of purpose and reasoning to work as hard as I was, and to provide and be part of something bigger than just being Andrew Harris. Now, it was Andrew Harris the father.”
Andrew has been through the highs of victory but has also endured scrutiny and experienced loss. A failed drug test in 2019 took a toll on his mental health, but with the help of Dr. Adrienne TooGood, he got back on his feet.
“I had to kind of be vulnerable and talk to talk to someone, so I sat down and talked with Dr. Toogood. And I literally felt like I just cried the whole time for an hour there. And she just listened and just lifted me back up. It took a couple weeks, but it all kind of lined up perfectly with when I got back, you know, into the playoffs. I could be that leader again. And once we got to the Grey Cup, there was so much anger, excitement, pride, I felt like myself again.”
A dedicated father and a role model for many, Andrew’s message is to appreciate everyone for who they are, to celebrate the positives and to show compassion during times of trouble.
“We are all humans. And I think sometimes, we look at people as if they are inhuman. And I think the biggest thing is that it's important to give everyone respect. When people are up or down, you know, just respect them and enjoy the good times and, you know, support in the bad times. That's the biggest thing for me.”