“I Am Shocked”: US Hero Pat Tillman’s Mother Outraged Prince Harry Received Son’s Award

Prince Harry is set to receive the Pat Tillman Award for Service at the 2024 Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly (ESPY) Awards on Thursday (July 11). However, the decision to award the Duke of Sussex with the prize created in honor of NFL player-turned-US Army Ranger Pat Tillman sparked outrage.

Mary Tillman, the mother of late former Arizona Cardinals safety-turned-US Army soldier Pat Tillman, heavily criticized the ESPY Awards’ choice, as she was allegedly not consulted.

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She told The Daily Mail on Sunday (June 30): “I am shocked as to why they would select such a controversial and divisive individual to receive the award.

“There are recipients that are far more fitting.”

Prince Harry is set to receive the Pat Tillman Award for Service

Image credits: Karwai Tang/WireImage

“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 recognized.”

The award is given by the sports TV network ESPN each year to a “person with a strong connection to sports who has served others in a way that echoes the legacy of the former NFL player.”

Image credits: espn

Among notable recipients, Manchester United star Marcus Rashford was awarded the accolade in 2021 after helping raise millions of dollars during the COVID-19 pandemic to help feed children in England.

Set to be hosted this year by tennis legend Serena Williams, ESPN announced its list of nominations and recipients last week.

“It’s our privilege to recognize three incredible individuals — Steve Gleason, Dawn Staley, and Prince Harry,” Kate Jackson, VP Production at ESPN, said in a press release.

“These honourees 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.”

He will be awarded at the 2024 Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly (ESPY) Awards on Thursday (July 11)

Image credits: ESPN

ESPN said the 39-year-old noble was being honored for his “tireless work in making a positive impact for the veteran community through the power of sport” with Invictus Games.

The Games is a multi-sport event held for wounded, injured, and ill servicemen and women, and it has been running since 2014.

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But backlash has continuously grown since the network’s decision, as a petition was created over the weekend demanding ESPN to think again, claiming Harry had been “involved in controversies that call into question his suitability to receive an honor of this magnitude.”

The petition reads: “Awarding this honor to someone who does not reflect the award’s intent diminishes its value and disrespects Tillman’s memory.”

Image credits: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Royal commentator Angela Mollard told Sky News Australia on Sunday she felt it was a bit odd the award was going to Prince Harry, despite his work creating the “amazing” Invictus Games.

She said: “The fact is, this award is going to Harry … I am going with the detractors.

“I don’t know why these organizations – this is about sport, honor, and awards – and of course, Harry organized the Invictus Games.

“But I have a theory on this because this guy keeps getting awards and you are kind of thinking he is a bit adjacent to the actual topic that the award is being given to.”

The decision to award the Duke of Sussex with the prize created in honor of NFL player-turned-US Army Ranger Pat Tillman sparked outrage

Image credits: Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images

The royal commentator then suggested some award organizations could be after extra publicity in bestowing honor on the Duke, as she claimed: “I think that these … awards want some coverage so they will give it to Harry one year rather than giving it to somebody who is probably a bit more deserving.

“Maybe somebody who in this case is American for a start.

“To be fair his Invictus Games is amazing but does it determine he should get this award? I don’t think so.”

According to an exposé published by the Daily Express in January 2024, Prince Harry served in the British Army for a decade, beginning his military career in 2005 at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. 

Image credits: The Times and The Sunday Times

He rose to the rank of Captain and undertook two tours in Afghanistan, first as a Forward Air Controller and later as an Apache helicopter co-pilot and gunner. 

The dad-of-two’s service led to his involvement in veteran support initiatives like the Invictus Games. He retired from active duty in 2015.

As per the Pat Tillman Foundation, Patrick was selected by the Arizona Cardinals in the seventh round of the 1998 NFL Draft, becoming the team’s starting safety and breaking the franchise record for tackles in 2000 with 224.

Following the attacks on September 11, 2001, Pat enlisted in the U.S. Army with his brother, Kevin. 

Mary Tillman, the mother of late former Arizona Cardinals safety-turned-US Army soldier Pat Tillman, heavily criticized the ESPY Awards’ choice

Image credits: Gene Lower/Getty Images

Pat and Kevin joined the U.S. Army in 2002, committing to a three-year term. They were assigned to the second battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment in Fort Lewis, Washington. 

The brothers served tours in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 and Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2004. 

On the evening of April 22, 2004, Pat’s unit was ambushed as it traveled through the rugged canyon terrain of eastern Afghanistan. 

His heroic efforts to provide cover for fellow soldiers as they escaped from the canyon led to his untimely and tragic death via fratricide.

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The post “I Am Shocked”: US Hero Pat Tillman’s Mother Outraged Prince Harry Received Son’s Award first appeared on Bored Panda.
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