Prince Harry will receive an award this evening despite tens of thousands of people signing a petition demanding a U-turn on his nomination.

The Duke of Sussex will attend a glitzy event in Hollywood tonight.


However, there has been a furious reaction to Harry’s nomination for the memorial award set up in the name of Pat Tillman including public criticism from Tilman’s mother.

Pat Tilman gave up a lucrative career in the NFL to enlist as an Army Ranger in 2002 and served in Iraq and then Afghanistan, where he was killed by friendly fire in 2004.

Prince Harry

Prince Harry will receive an award this evening despite tens of thousands of people signing a petition demanding a U-turn on his nomination.

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Mary Tilman said: “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 recognised.”

A petition demanding ESPN rethink their decision, claiming the Duke of Sussex had been “involved in controversies that call into question his suitability to receive an honour of this magnitude” has now reached 70,000 signatures.

Prince Harry

The Duke of Sussex will attend a glitzy event in Hollywood tonight.

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The Duke of Sussex was nominated for the award due to his work as the founder of the Invictus Games.

An insider close to the royal told The Telegraph Harry had been left stunned by the backlash to his nomination.

The source said: “Harry’s legacy on Invictus, the things he has achieved, that’s his real passion.

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

Prince Harry

The Duke of Sussex was nominated for the award due to his work as the founder of the Invictus Games.

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Prince Harry

ESPN released a statement highlighting the Duke of Sussex’s achievements with the Invictus Games following the backlash.

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Jake Wood, a former Pat Tillman Award recipient defended the decision to select Prince Harry for the award, saying: “He’s a royal prince, there are 100 different things he could have done with his life after his service in the British Armed Forces but he’s chosen to dedicate a big portion of his post-military life to helping veterans.”

Last week, ESPN released a statement highlighting the Duke of Sussex’s achievements with the Invictus Games following the backlash.

The organisation said: “ESPN, with the support of the Tillman Foundation, is honouring 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.”