Calls mount to strip Prince Harry of award honouring military legend Pat Tillman

The Sussexes Face Backlash After ESPN Honors Prince Harry

Prince Harry 'stunned' by backlash to his ESPY nomination for 'the Pat  Tillman Award for Service' after Afghanistan veteran's own mother said she  would have preferred for it to go to someone '

In a recent turn of events, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, have found themselves at the center of controversy in the United States. ESPN’s decision to award Prince Harry the prestigious Pat Tillman Award has sparked outrage, particularly from the mother of the late US war hero, Pat Tillman.

The Backlash

A petition demanding ESPN rethink their decision, claiming the Duke of Sussex had been “involved in controversies that call into question his suitability to receive an honour of this magnitude” has now reached 50,000 signatures.

The petition says “awarding this honour to someone who does not reflect the award’s intent diminishes its value and disrespects Tillman’s memory.”

Commenters on the petition expressed outrage, drawing a sharp contrast between Pat Tillman’s selfless sacrifice for duty and country and Prince Harry’s departure from royal responsibilities. Some even accused Prince Harry of prioritizing a “Hollywood dream” over his duty.

Many Americans quickly took to the comments section of the petition to voice their outrage, with one person contrasting the differences between Mr Tillman and the Duke’s Army service.

“Pat Tillman sacrificed his life for duty and country! Harry walked away from duty and country & spit on his commander in chief, country, duty & family on his way out,” they said.

“All for a Hollywood dream! I’m appalled as an American that you would give him this award. It now means nothing!

“I am shocked as to why they would select such a controversial and divisive individual to receive the award,” she said.

Canada is tipped to be where the newlyweds are celebrating their honeymoon. [Photo: Getty]

The Background

Pat Tillman, an NFL star, tragically lost his life in action after joining the US military following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. His legacy is honored through the Pat Tillman Award, which recognizes individuals with a strong connection to  sports and a commitment to serving others.

U.S. Air Force Technical Sgt. Israel Del Toro accepting the Pat Tillman Award from Jon Stewart on a stage in front of a large crowd at the 2017 ESPYS in Los Angeles, California.

Mary Tillman’s Critique

Mary Tillman, Pat Tillman’s mother, expressed her disapproval of ESPN’s choice to honor Prince Harry. She believes that the award should have gone to someone who truly embodies the spirit of sacrifice and duty. Her sentiments are echoed by many Americans who feel that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s actions do not align with the values they hold dear.

US hero Pat Tillman's mom slams decision to honor Prince Harry with son's award

Unpopularity in the US

Royal commentator Nile Gardiner weighed in on the situation, labeling Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as “two of the most unpopular figures in the US today.” Their perceived narcissism and divisive behavior have not endeared them to the American public, especially those who hold the Royal Family in high regard.

Speaking to GB News on Tuesday, royal commentator Nile Gardiner said the renegade prince and his wife Meghan Markle are “two of the most unpopular figures in the US today”.

“Harry and Meghan’s narcissism does not go down very well in the United States and America,” he said.

“Most American people really love the Royal Family, okay. They do not look kindly upon Harry and Meghan trashing them in the United States and does not go down very well.

“They’re very divisive figures, and this award is very, very controversial. There’s a huge backlash in the United States, and it’s an illustration of just how unpopular Harry and Meghan are on both sides of the Atlantic.”

ESPN’s Defense

ESPN, however, stands by its decision. The network cites Prince Harry’s work with the Invictus Games Foundation, an organization that promotes healing through  sports for military service members and veterans worldwide. Despite the controversy, ESPN believes that honoring Prince Harry’s contributions to this cause is worthwhile.

The Invictus Games

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle receive new titles amid award controversy

Prince Harry’s involvement in launching the Invictus Games has been widely praised. These multi-sport, Paralympic-style games provide a platform for wounded or injured servicemen and veterans to compete and inspire others. For Prince Harry, receiving the Pat Tillman Award is a testament to the entire service community.

In conclusion, while opinions remain divided, ESPN’s decision to honor Prince Harry underscores the complexity of balancing fame, duty, and service. Whether one agrees or disagrees, the Pat Tillman Award continues to evoke passionate responses on both sides of the Atlantic.

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