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Public Urges Prince Harry to Decline Controversial Award Nomination

Prince Harry came under fire from a former Royal Navy chief over his candidacy for the prestigious Pat Tillman Prize for Service. The award, set to be presented at a glitzy ceremony in the U.S. later this month, has sparked substantial debate.

In June, it was announced that the Duke of Sussex will be honored with the Pat Tillman Award for Service at the forthcoming ESPY Awards in Los Angeles on July 11. The event will be hosted by tennis legend Serena Williams, a close friend of Meghan Markle.

Named after Pat Tillman, the former NFL player and U.S. Army Ranger who tragically lost his life in Afghanistan in 2004, the prize is awarded by ESPN to individuals in the sports sphere who have significantly contributed to the well-being of others.

The revelation of Prince Harry’s selection incited a wave of criticism globally, resulting in a petition urging the awards’ organizers to reconsider their choice.

Even Mary Tillman, Pat Tillman’s mother, expressed her shock over Harry’s nomination, indicating there are more deserving candidates.

Admiral Lord Alan West, who served as the First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff from 2002 to 2006, delivered a terse, eight-word warning to Prince Harry regarding his candidacy.

Lord West advised Prince Harry to be cautious about accepting certain accolades as it might not sit well with military personnel. He strongly recommended that Harry decline the Pat Tillman prize.

“He ought to think very hard and long about accepting awards for things like being an exceptional pilot and being exceptionally brave. Some of the blame must lie with ESPN. They like picking him because it gives them immense publicity. But this is rather bad publicity for Harry,” the Labour peer told the Daily Mail.

Lord West advised Prince Harry to “sit back and not accept awards like this.”

“It doesn’t travel well with people in the military. And when the mother of the man who died doesn’t want him to get this award, he should think about that. My advice to him is to sit back and not accept any awards at the moment. They are going his way because he has such a high profile and people want to take advantage of that,” he added.

Prince Harry is being acknowledged for his efforts in establishing the Invictus Games a decade ago, aimed at assisting active duty and veteran servicemen and women dealing with both physical and invisible disabilities.

According to Express UK, Prince Harry is being recognized for his continuous efforts to impact the veteran community positively through the power of sports.

The Invictus Games have transcended national borders and have profoundly impacted individuals across continents. Insiders told The Telegraph that the Duke was “shocked” by the negative feedback.

“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,” sources claimed.

Business Times has reached out to Prince Harry for comments.

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Source: Business Times