“You played hard; you played to the very last second,” said Harris, class of ’86 at the D.C. historically black university. “You made all us Bison so, so proud. You hustled out there. You are smart. You are disciplined. You put everything you had into the game. And you know that’s what it’s about, right?”
Harris lightheartedly noted the historical significance. “I was at Howard back in the day when we were just happy there was a game, much less getting to this place,” she said.
“I know you may not be feeling great right now, OK, but know who you are,” she added. “You are excellence. You are hard work. You are powerful. And you are winners.”
The vice president, accompanied in Des Moines, Iowa, by second gentleman Douglas Emhoff, invited team members for a White House tour in case they wanted to “play hooky” for an afternoon.
In a previous show of support for the school’s athletic program, Harris conducted the ceremonial coin toss at Howard’s football game against Hampton University in 2021.