Prince Harry Receives Controversial Award at 2024 ESPYS – ESPN Responds to Blowback From Pat Tillman’s Mother

LOS ANGELES, CA – The decision by ESPN to honor Prince Harry with the Pat Tillman Award for Service at the 2024 ESPYS has sparked controversy, with the late hero’s mother, Mary Tillman, expressing disappointment over the choice. The Duke of Sussex was selected as one of the recipients for his military background and involvement with the Invictus Games, an announcement that did not sit well with Mary, who criticized ESPN for not consulting her about the decision.

In response to the backlash, ESPN defended their decision, highlighting Prince Harry’s contributions to The Invictus Games Foundation and its impact on promoting healing through sports for military service members and veterans globally. The award, named after former NFL player and US Army Ranger Pat Tillman, is meant to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions in the world that align with Tillman’s legacy.

Despite Mary’s objections, former recipients of the award have come forward to support ESPN’s choice to honor Prince Harry. US Marine and past award winner Jake Wood described Harry as a “natural fit” for the honor due to his military experience and dedication to supporting veterans. Similarly, US Air Force Master Sgt. Israel Del Toro Jr., another former recipient, voiced his belief that Prince Harry is a deserving recipient of the prestigious award.

Prince Harry, who served in the British military for 10 years and completed two tours in Afghanistan as a helicopter pilot, also founded the Invictus Games in 2014 as a platform for wounded or injured servicemen and veterans to compete in Paralympic-styled games. Despite the controversy surrounding his royal status, Prince Harry’s commitment to serving the military community has been recognized through the Pat Tillman Award for Service.

In conclusion, while Mary Tillman has expressed her disapproval of Prince Harry being chosen for the award named after her son, Pat Tillman, ESPN has stood by their decision to honor the Duke of Sussex for his contributions to the military community and the Invictus Games. The recognition of Prince Harry’s service reflects a dedication to honoring individuals who embody the spirit of service and sacrifice exemplified by Pat Tillman and others like him.