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ESPN Responds to Criticism Over Prince Harry’s ESPY Award Honor

ESPN Responds to Criticism Over Prince Harry’s ESPY Award Honor

The ESPY Awards is addressing some criticism over Prince Harry’s upcoming honor during the ceremony.

The Duke of Sussex is set to receive the Pat Tillman Award for Service at the 2024 ESPYS for his work with The Invictus Games Foundation. The Pat Tillman Award for Service was named in honor of late NFL star and U.S. Army Ranger Pat Tillman, who died during combat in 2004. With the award, the ESPYs honors Tillman’s legacy and someone who has used their connection to the sports world to positively impact the lives of others.

After Prince Harry was announced to receive the honor, Tillman’s mother spoke out about the decision, telling Daily Mail she was “shocked” by the choice.

“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. 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,” she told Daily Mail.

ESPN responded to the criticism, telling The Hollywood Reporter in a statement, “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. 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.”

THR has reached out to a representative for the Duke of Sussex for comment.

While Tillman’s mother said she was not consulted about the recipient, she has also not previously been involved with the selection process of who is honored.

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The Invictus Games wrote via X in June of the upcoming honor, “Thank you to the @ESPYS for honouring the founding of the #InvictusGames Foundation by Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex and our work to support the rehabilitation of the international wounded, injured or sick service community.”

Prince Harry founded the Invictus Games in 2014. The Games is a multi-sport event for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women, both active service and veterans.

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