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'Bitter Pill to Swallow': Prince Harry Left 'Stunned' by Pat Tillman Award Backlash

prince harry left stunned pat tillman award backlash
Source: MEGA

Jul. 8 2024, Published 11:23 a.m. ET

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Prince Harry is "stunned" by the public's response to him receiving the Pat Tillman Award on Thursday, July 11, an insider claimed, adding the fallout has been a "bitter pill to swallow" for the ex-royal.

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prince harry left stunned pat tillman award backlash
Source: MEGA

Prince Harry left the royal fold in 2020.

The duke spent ten years in the armed forces, and after retiring, Harry founded the Invictus Games, a sporting event for wounded veterans and soldiers.

“This is the space in which he truly feels at home, it is something he deeply cares about," the insider told an outlet. "The reaction certainly took the shine off the award.”

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prince harry left stunned pat tillman award backlash
Source: MEGA

Prince Harry was given the Pat Tillman Award due to his dedication to the Invictus Games.

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OK! previously reported American royal commentator Kinsey Schofield alluded to the Sussexes using accolades to repair their public image.

“I see Prince Harry and Meghan Markle accepting more trophies for awards that I don’t understand what they’re for,” Schofield said on TalkTV.

“I guess they’re trying to buy the public’s respect, they’re trying to buy good PR through networking and creating these opportunities to collect trophies for their mantle, but I think the public sees through these individuals," the podcast host added.

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prince harry left stunned pat tillman award backlash
Source: MEGA

Prince Harry is currently based in California.

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Schofield mentioned that Spotify pulled the plug on "Archetypes," but the podcast won various awards.

“How many awards did Meghan accept for her podcast that was canceled and slammed by her own network?” Schofield wondered. “This is all a game to them.”

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prince harry left stunned pat tillman award backlash
Source: MEGA

Prince Harry is building a life for himself in California.

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Despite the controversy, ESPN supported their decision to honor Harry at the ESPYs.

"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 shared in a statement to OK!. "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.”

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Tillman left the NFL after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but was tragically killed in Afghanistan in 2004. The Pat Tillman Award celebrates his legacy and honors individuals who have left an impact on the sports world through their commitment to service.

However, Tillman's mother, Mary, doesn't think the royal was fit for the title.

"I am shocked as to why they would select such a controversial and divisive individual to receive the award," Mary told an outlet.

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

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Although Mary wasn't fond of ESPN's decision, a source confirmed to OK! that she is "not associated with the Pat Tillman Foundation and has never been involved with the selection of recipients nor been informed of previous recipients when they were selected."

The source spoke to The Telegraph.

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