Saturday, July 13, 2024

Mom of 9/11 Hero Pat Tillman Slams ESPN for Honoring Prince Harry w/ Son’s Award

'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...'

(Headline USA) The mother of U.S. hero and former NFL player Pat Tillman slammed ESPN for honoring Prince Harry with the award named after her son.

“I am shocked as to why they would select such a controversial and divisive individual to receive the award,” she told the Daily Mail.

ESPN announced last month that the Duke of Sussex would be this year’s recipient of the Pat Tillman Award for Service in honor of “his tireless work in making a positive impact for the veteran community through the power of sport.”

Each year, the award is granted to “a person with a strong connection to sports” who embodies the spirit of former NFL player and U.S. Army Ranger Pat Tillman, who left the NFL to enlist the army after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Tillman died in Afghanistan in 2004.

Last year’s recipients were the Buffalo Bills training staff members who revived Damar Hamlin after he went into cardiac arrest in the middle of a game.

The woke prince, after relocating to the United States, has periodically shared his disdainful opinons on American politics, seemingly oblivious to his own privilege and status as a guest in the country. He also accused his own family of racism, siding instead with his gold-digging wife, Meghan Markle.

Harry, who had a black-sheep adolescence, was deployed to Afghanistan after graduating from the elite Eton College. He claimed in his autobiography, Spare, to have flown on six missions and killed 25 Taliban members.

One of his crowning philanthropic achievements has been launching the Invictus Games, a sporting event for wounded veterans.

However, Mary Tillman argued that he lacked the sense of selflessness required as a prerequisite for the award and did not reflect its spirit—or her son’s legacy, .

“There are recipients that are far more fitting,” she said.

“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.”

ESPN responded to the criticism on Monday, insisting in a statement that it selected Prince Harry with the support of the Tillman Foundation, which was founded by Pat Tillman’s widow, Marie.

“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,” said the 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.”

It is not the first time ESPN has been criticized for its overly political awards selections. It has regularly leaned into controversy, celebrating outspoken radicals like Colin Kaepernick, Megan Rapinoe and Lebron James in recent years, sometimes rewarding them more for their activism than their athleticism.

The network was also criticized for including transgender college swimmer Lia Thomas in a “women’s history month” segement last year.

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