Prince Harry must turn down Pat Tillman Award: expert

The prince should reject it.

Prince Harry “should do the honourable thing” and “just say no” to his controversial Pat Tillman Award, according to royal expert Richard Eden.

Eden, who is diary editor for the Daily Mail, made the comments during a conversation on the Daily Mail’s Palace Confidential podcast with fellow royal commentators Rebecca English and Charlotte Griffiths.

Eden said Prince Harry should say: “You know, I actually don’t accept this because the last thing the organisers of this event want is this kind of controversy.”

Prince Harry’s nomination for the Pat Tillman Award has caused much outrage. Getty Images
Pat Tillman’s mother is outraged by the choice to honor Prince Harry. Getty Images
The award is named after former NFL player Pat Tillman, who joined the U.S. Army after 9/11 and died in 2004. Sports Illustrated via Getty Images

On June 27, it was announced that Prince Harry, 39, will receive the Pat Tillman Award for Service at the 2024 ESPYs. Tillman’s mother expressed outrage over the choice.

The award was created in 2014 and is named after former NFL player Pat Tillman, who left the game to serve in the U.S. Army after 9/11 and was killed by friendly fire in 2004 at age 27. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star and the Purple Heart for his efforts.

The Duke of Sussex, who retired from royal life in 2020, is being honoured for his 10 years of service in the British armed forces, including two tours of duty in Afghanistan as an Apache helicopter pilot and as a forward air controller.

The Prince also launched the Invictus Games in 2014, a Paralympic-style multi-sport event for wounded service personnel and veterans.

“This one is for our entire community,” Harry said after hearing about the honor.

Prince Harry launched the Invictus Games for wounded servicemen and veterans. Chris Jackson
Prince Harry is honored in front of his world with wounded veterans. Getty Images for the Invictus Games Foundation
The award honors the legacy of Pat Tillman, right. Tribune News Service via Getty Images

This prestigious award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the world that continue Tillman’s legacy.

The group of honorees, including Prince Harry, “have used their platforms to change the world and make it more inclusive for marginalized and struggling communities, showing incredible resilience, positivity and perseverance, and we are thrilled to honor them at The 2024 ESPYS,” said Kate Jackson, ESPN’s VP of Production, in a statement.

Tillman’s mother, Mary, criticized ESPN for honoring Harry, claiming she was never consulted about the decision to honor Harry for the award named after her late son.

“I am shocked that they have selected such a controversial and divisive person to receive the award,” Mary told the Daily Mail.

“There are recipients that are much more appropriate,” she added. “There are people who work in the veteran community who are doing wonderful things to help veterans.”

Prince Harry’s Pat Tillman Award has caused much outrage. Getty Images
“I am shocked that they selected such a controversial and divisive person to receive the award,” said Pat Tillman’s mother, Mary. Getty Images
“There are recipients that are much more fitting,” said Pat Tillman’s mother. NFL

But ESPN defended its choice.

“ESPN, with the support of the Tillman Foundation, is honoring Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, specifically for the work of the Invictus Games Foundation as it celebrates its 10-year anniversary of promoting healing through the power of sport for service members and veterans around the world,” ESPN told The Post in a statement.

However, ESPN analyst Pat McAfee accused his own network on Friday of “trying to piss people off” for picking Prince Harry.

“It goes to Prince Harry,” McAfee said on his talk show, “who I don’t even think is a prince anymore, right? He said you can’t call me that? See, why do the ESPYs do this kind of nonsense?”

He added: “This is honestly the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”

ESPN defended the choice of Prince Harry. POOL/AFP via Getty Images
ESPN said they chose Prince Harry because of his work with the Invictus Games. AP
The ESPYS is hosted by Serena Williams. ESPYS

Eden, for his part, said: “You know, it’s a great award that’s meant to honour someone who puts service above personal gain, and it’s really not appropriate for Harry to have it. So I said, if you know, if he’s a gentleman, if he has any sense of shame, he won’t accept it.”

The ESPYs air on July 11 at 8 p.m. ET, hosted by tennis legend Serena Williams.

Leave a Comment