Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, is set to receive an ESPY Award for his work creating the Invictus Games, but the mother of the man who inspired the award isn’t happy one bit.

ESPN announced last week that Harry, the younger son of England’s King Charles III, would be honored with the 2024 Pat Tillman Award for Service at this year’s ESPY Awards. The show will be televised July 11 on ABC, with tennis legend Serena Williams hosting.

The sports network created the award in 2014 to honor people with a strong connection to sports who have “served others in a way that echoes the legacy of the former NFL player and U.S. Army Ranger, Pat Tillman.”

Tillman was a safety for the Arizona Cardinals who quit his pro career after the 9/11 attacks and enlisted in the Army. He was killed in Afghanistan in 2004 in a friendly fire incident.

The network said Harry deserves the honor for “creating an international platform to support wounded, injured, and sick servicemen and women — both active-duty and veterans — who are navigating both physical and invisible injuries.”

But Tillman’s mother, Mary Tillman, doesn’t agree with the network’s choice. She told the Daily Mail she was “shocked as to why they would select such a controversial and divisive individual to receive the award.”

Tillman said she feels there are other people who deserve recognition for “doing tremendous things to assist veterans,” but that “these individuals do not have the money, resources, connections or privilege that Prince Harry has.”

Tillman isn’t the only one miffed about the prince’s ESPY.

A Change.org petition created after the announcement had attracted more than 32,000 signatures as of Monday afternoon.

Tillman didn’t specify why she described Harry as “controversial.” She could not immediately be reached for comment. HuffPost reached out to ESPN and to Harry’s Archewell Foundation for this story, but did not immediately receive a response.


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