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Gossip & Rumors: Prince Harry Needs To Turn Down Pat

GOSSIP & RUMORS: Prince Harry needs to turn down Pat Tillman Award: expert

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The prince should turn it down. 

Prince Harry “needs to do the honorable thing” and “just say no” to his controversial Pat Tillman Award, royal expert Richard Eden said. 

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

Eden said that Prince Harry should say, “‘You know what, actually, I won’t accept this because the last thing the organizers of this event want is this kind of controversy.’”

Prince Harry’s nomination for the Pat Tillman Award has sparked backlash. Getty Images
Pat Tillman’s mother has expressed outrage at the choice of honoring Prince Harry. Getty Images
The award is named after former NFL player Pat Tillman, who joined the US military after 9/11 and died in 2004. Sports Illustrated via Getty Images

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

The award was created in 2014, named after former NFL player Pat Tillman, who left the sport to serve the US military in the wake of 9/11 and was killed by friendly fire in 2004 at age 27. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart for his service. 

The Duke of Sussex, who quit royal life in 2020, will be honored because he served in the British Armed Forces for 10 years, including two tours of duty in Afghanistan as an Apache helicopter pilot and a forward air controller.

The prince also launched the Invictus Games in 2014 as multisport Paralympic-styled games for wounded or injured servicemen and veterans.

“This one is for our entire service community,” Harry said after learning of the honor.

Prince Harry launched the Invictus Games for wounded or injured servicemen and veterans. Chris Jackson
Prince Harry is being honored for 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

The prestige award is handed out to individuals who have made significant contributions in the world, which echo the legacy of Tillman.

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

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

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

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

Prince Harry’s Pat Tillman award has sparked backlash. Getty Images
“I am shocked as to why they would select such a controversial and divisive individual to receive the award,” Pat Tillman’s mother Mary said. Getty Images
“There are recipients far more fitting,” Pat Tillman’s mother said. 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 10th year promoting healing through the power of sport for military service members and veterans around the world,” ESPN told The Post in a statement.

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

“It’s going to Prince Harry,” McAfee said on his talk show, “who I don’t even think is a prince anymore, right? He said don’t call me that? See, why does the ESPYs do this s – – t?”

He added: “This is like actually the most embarrassing thing I’ve seen in my entire life.”

ESPN defended choosing Prince Harry. POOL/AFP via Getty Images
ESPN said they chose Prince Harry for his work on the Invictus Games. AP
The ESPYS will be hosted by Serena Williams. ESPYS

Eden, for his part, said: “You know, it’s a great award that’s meant to be honoring someone who put service before personal gain, and it really isn’t appropriate for Harry to get it. So I said, if you know, if he’s a gentleman, if he’s got a sense of shame, he won’t accept it.”

The ESPYs will air on July 11 at 8 p.m. with tennis legend Serena Williams hosting the event.

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