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‘Controversial and divisive’: Prince Harry jeered ahead of Hollywood awards show

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‘Controversial and divisive’: Prince Harry jeered ahead of Hollywood awards show

 

The next big awards show in Hollywood might draw more than just fans and photographers.

 

 

The ESPY Awards, ESPN’s honors dedicated to the best in sports, will award Prince Harry with the Pat Tillman Award for Service at the July 11 ceremony at the Dolby Theatre.

 

 

Tillman, a former NFL player who left professional sports to join the military in the months after Sept. 11, 2001, was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan in 2004.

 

When announcing the selection, ESPN noted Prince Harry served 10 years in the British Armed Forces and has championed his Invictus Games Foundation, which supports wounded veterans.

 

But that in itself shouldn’t be enough for the award, according to Tillman’s mother, Mary, who told the Daily Mail that there are “far more fitting” people who deserved to be recognized more than the “controversial and divisive” Harry.

 

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 said.

 

In a statement to KTLA, ESPN defended their selection of Prince Harry.

 

“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,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “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.”

 

Despite ESPN’s defense, online petitions calling for a new Pat Tillman Award winner have garnered tens of thousands of signatures, and ESPN personality Pat McAfee said the network is “just obviously trying to piss people off,” as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

 

The next big awards show in Hollywood might draw more than just fans and photographers.

 

The ESPY Awards, ESPN’s honors dedicated to the best in sports, will award Prince Harry with the Pat Tillman Award for Service at the July 11 ceremony at the Dolby Theatre.

 

Tillman, a former NFL player who left professional sports to join the military in the months after Sept. 11, 2001, was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan in 2004.

 

When announcing the selection, ESPN noted Prince Harry served 10 years in the British Armed Forces and has championed his Invictus Games Foundation, which supports wounded veterans.

 

But that in itself shouldn’t be enough for the award, according to Tillman’s mother, Mary, who told the Daily Mail that there are “far more fitting” people who deserved to be recognized more than the “controversial and divisive” Harry.

 

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 said.

 

In a statement to KTLA, ESPN defended their selection of Prince Harry.

 

“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,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “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.”

 

Despite ESPN’s defense, online petitions calling for a new Pat Tillman Award winner have garnered tens of thousands of signatures, and ESPN personality Pat McAfee said the network is “just obviously trying to piss people off,” as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

 

Prince Harry’s Archewell Foundation did not respond to a request for comment from NBC.

 

With 10 days until the ceremony, it remains to be seen if ESPN will change tack, but as things currently stand, sports luminaries may be hearing jeers along with cheers as they enter the ceremony.

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