Prince Harry can “earn respect” by turning down the ESPY Pat Tillman Award, royal commentator Maureen Callahan has told GBN America.

The Duke of Sussex is set to be handed the gong that was named after the American war hero.


Harry, who was being honoured for his work with the Invictus Games – a sporting event he set up for wounded, injured and sick veterans – has faced backlash after being bestowed with the honour and is now facing calls to turn it down.

Callahan told Nana Akua that doing so would go some way to currying favour with the American public.

Prince Harry

Prince Harry is under fire

PA

“We have read about how Harry was protected by his fellow soldiers, that was another part of their job and then in Spare, he bragged about his kill count as if it’s a video game”, she said.

“It reveals an immature mind.

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS

Nana Akua and Maureen Callahan

Maureen Callahan joined Nana Akua on GBN America

GBN AMERICA

“If he had an iota of intelligence, he would respectfully decline this award. He might actually get a little bit of respect for doing that.”

Callahan said Americans are generally not in favour of Harry being given the award as she explained its symbolic significance.

“I cannot tell you how galling this is to Americans”, she said.

“Pat Tillman is a genuine hero for Americans. For anyone who doesn’t know, he was a former NFL player who gave up his career to voluntarily enlist after September 11 to go and fight, he was killed by friendly fire.

Maureen Callahan

Maureen Callahan hit out at the decision to hand Harry the award

GBN AMERICA

“This is a guy who represents what we like to think is the best of America. For Harry to not only be offered this award, but accept it unblinkingly is appalling to us.”

Harry, who has completed two tours of Afghanistan, is preparing to accept the award with tennis legend Serena Williams giving it to him at a glitzy ceremony hosted by ESPN.

Tillman’s own mother is among those to have criticised the decision to hand Harry the award, prompting a petition urging the sports network to choose another recipient.

A Change.org petition is currently on just over 73,000 signatures and urges ESPN to “reconsider their choice of award recipient”.

The award is handed out to individuals with a “strong connection to sports” who have similarly served their country.

The network defended its decision to bestow Harry with the honour in a statement and praised the duke for his “incredible” work with the Invictus Games.