Prince Harry faces ‘isolation’ from military community ahead of award | Royal | News

Despite the Duke of Sussex set to be presented with the Pat Tillman Award later this month, he risks facing „isolation“ from the military community, a royal commentator believes.

There has been significant controversy over the decision to give Prince Harry the Pat Tillman Award for his work with the Invictus Games, which celebrates the sporting achievements of wounded, sick and injured service people.

The award is named after the former professional American footballer, who gave up his work in the sport to join the armed forces in the wake of 9/11. Tillman was tragically killed in Afghanistan, where Harry also served in 2004.

Gareth Russell, a royal commentator, told GB News that Prince Harry had previously received backlash from the military community, which he claims stems from comments the Duke made in his bombshell memoir, Spare.

He said: „There were very clear signs from the military in Britain that they were extremely unhappy with many of the comments made in Spare and on several chat shows.

„I don’t think there’s any doubt that many in the military felt he had broken a code or broken protocol, and that means a great deal within the British military.“

Although the royal commentator admitted people had a „great deal of affection“ for the Prince and his work with the Invictus Games, he explained there was controversy: „Even those who have admiration for the Invictus Games have said that they felt the comments in Spare were isolating and inappropriate.“

In his memoir, the Duke of Sussex described killing 25 Taliban fighters in Afghanistan as „chess pieces taken off the board“.

Prince Harry wrote: „It wasn’t a statistic that filled me with pride but nor did it make me ashamed. When I was plunged into the heat and confusion of battle, I didn’t think about those as 25 people.

„You can’t kill people if you see them as people. In truth, you can’t hurt people if you see them as people.“

Tillman’s mother, Mary, believes that there are more deserving recipients of the ESPY Award than Harry, 39, who she described as „controversial and divisive“. Her opinion has also been echoed by those who have signed a petition, which is urging ESPN to „rethink“ its decision to give the prince the award.

The petition was set up on June 27 and has already received 65,366 signatures (at the time of writing).

ESPN explained that they had chosen to honour the Duke for his „tireless work in making a positive impact for the veteran community through the power of sport“ with his Invictus Games.

A spokesman for ESPN 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 honourees selected for any award, The Invictus Games Foundation does incredible work and ESPN believes this is a cause worth celebrating.“

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