• Prince Harry received an ESPY
  • It sparked outrage online
  • THIS is the feud that ensued

In an unexpected twist that has the celebrity and sports world abuzz, Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, finds himself at the center of a heated debate.

The American sports giant ESPN recently announced him as this year's recipient of the prestigious Pat Tillman Award for his commendable work with the Invictus Games, a decision that has since ignited a firestorm of controversy.

A Royal Honor Under Fire

The Pat Tillman Award, named after the late American football star turned soldier, Pat Tillman, is traditionally bestowed upon individuals who have shown a strong connection to sports and served their country with distinction.

Tillman's own story is one of ultimate sacrifice, having been killed in Afghanistan in 2004, a country where Prince Harry also served. However, the award's latest recipient has not been met with universal applause.

Mary Tillman, Pat's mother, voiced her disappointment to the 'Daily Mail', labeling Prince Harry as "controversial and divisive" and suggesting that there are more deserving candidates within the veteran community.

Her sentiments are echoed by a growing chorus of dissenters, including over 50,000 individuals who have signed a Change.org petition urging ESPN to reconsider their choice.

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

Despite the backlash, ESPN is not backing down. In a statement to Sky News, the network praised the "incredible" achievements of the Invictus Games Foundation, celebrating its 10th anniversary of aiding military service members and veterans through the power of sport.

ESPN firmly believes that the cause and Prince Harry's involvement are worth celebrating, even in the face of disagreement.

The controversy has even reached the ears of American sports analyst Pat McAfee, who criticized the decision on his talk show, questioning ESPN's motives and Prince Harry's current royal status.

As the debate rages on, the world awaits any further comments from Prince Harry, the Invictus Games Foundation, or the Tillman family.

Also interesting:

The Duke of Sussex, who has recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Invictus Games in the UK and Nigeria, has yet to respond to the criticism.

This story is developing, and whether this controversy will tarnish the legacy of the Pat Tillman Award or perhaps bring even greater attention to the admirable goals of the Invictus Games remains to be seen.