Prince Harry left shaken by backlash over recent award

Jul 09, 2024
The public response to Harry's latest honour has reportedly hit the royal hard and has cast a shadow over the occasion. Source: Getty Images.

Prince Harry is no stranger to public backlash, but the response to his latest award has reportedly rocked the controversial royal.

Harry is set to be recognised with the Pat Tillman Award at ESPN’s annual awards this year.

The award is given to an individual deeply connected to sports who has served others in a manner that reflects the legacy of Tillman, an NFL player and US soldier who passed away at the age of 27 in Afghanistan in 2004.

Harry’s 10-year dedication to the British Army, his two tours in Afghanistan, and his founding of the Invictus Games Foundation to support injured, wounded, and sick servicemen and women worldwide are the reasons he is receiving this honour but the move that has drawn swift condemnation.

Among those most vocal with their criticism has been Tillman’s mother, Mary Tillman, who argued that “there are recipients that are far more fitting”.

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

“There are recipients that are far more fitting. There are individuals working in the veteran community that are doing tremendous things to assist veterans.

“These individuals do not have the money, resources, connections or privilege that Prince Harry has. I feel that those types of individuals should be recognised.”

As the backlash mounts a source told The Telegraph that the public response to Harry’s latest honour has hit the royal hard and has cast a shadow over the occasion.

“Harry’s legacy on Invictus, the things he has achieved, that’s his real passion,” the source said.

“This is the space in which he truly feels at home, it is something he deeply cares about. The reaction certainly took the shine off the award.”

Despite the backlash, ESPN have voiced their support for Prince Harry, insisting his work with Invictus Games is worthy of recognition.

“ESPN, with the support of the Tillman Foundation, is honouring Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, specifically for the work of The Invictus Games Foundation as it celebrates its 10th year promoting healing through the power of sport for military service members and veterans around the world,” they said.

“While we understand not everyone will agree with all honorees selected for any award, the Invictus Games Foundation does incredible work, and ESPN believes this is a cause worth celebrating.”

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