I hoped that the long Independence Day weekend would dampen the British tantrum over Prince Harry receiving the Pat Tillman Award for Service at the ESPYs. The ESPYs will happen on Thursday, and no one has confirmed Prince Harry and Meghan’s attendance, but I hope they will both come out. Given Mary Tillman’s exclusive statement to the Daily Mail and the subsequent narrative around the statement, this whole thing absolutely has the energy of a British-media operation. They’re currently trying to argue that Harry should “refuse” the honor. Well, the Telegraph claims to have insider information from the Sussex camp about Harry’s reaction to Mary Tillman and the completely idiotic and forced “backlash” to the award.

Since moving abroad and being forced to give up his various military honours and associations, the Duke of Sussex has instead resorted to collecting American awards. But in doing so, it has become increasingly clear that he is now as divisive a figure in the US as he is in the UK. The backlash last week over the decision to give the Duke an award named after Pat Tillman, the American war hero killed in Afghanistan, is understood to have stunned Prince Harry.

It also presents a pressing problem as he seeks to build a career upon the foundations of his past military endeavours. For while the Duchess of Sussex is busy establishing a commercial empire promoting a domestic idyll, her husband has struggled to find his niche since moving abroad.

He is understood to be keen to focus on his experience in the military and working with veterans, hence the acceptance of a Legends of Aviation Award in January and the Pat Tillman Award at the ESPY ceremony next week. Such glitzy award ceremonies serve to boost the Duke’s public profile at a time when he is otherwise rarely in the public eye. However, when the publicity is largely negative, it points to a deeper reputational issue which it may prove difficult to overcome, as the Duke seeks another project to command his focus as the Invictus Games has done.

The controversy whipped up over the decision to award the Duke the Pat Tillman Award – for his work with Invictus – certainly took the wind out of his sails.

Team Sussex is resigned to criticism, fully aware of the polarising sentiments towards both Harry and Meghan. But when it concerns anything relating to his military record and work with veterans, it is a particularly bitter pill to swallow, one source admitted.

“Harry’s legacy on Invictus, the things he has achieved, that’s his real passion,” they said. “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.”

The source acknowledged that it was much the same in January when Harry, who completed two tours of Afghanistan as an Apache helicopter pilot, joined the likes of astronauts Buzz Aldrin and James Lovell to be recognised as a Living Legend of Aviation at a star-studded ceremony in Beverly Hills, California. Defence chiefs lashed out at the decision to recognise the Duke ahead of others such as Tim Peake, the first British astronaut to walk in space. Admiral Lord West, former head of the Royal Navy, did not mince his words, saying: “He is not a living legend.”

[From The Telegraph]

LMAO, they’re still so mad about the Living Legends of Aviation thing. Living Legends of Aviation is not some super-prestigious or exclusive award – it’s given to pilots and people who are involved with aviation in any way, and it was just some minor, cool thing given to Harry. The Pat Tillman Award is a much bigger deal because the ESPYs are a much bigger deal and because people don’t f–k around with Pat Tillman’s legacy. Which is why the people stoking this ridiculous controversy should be ashamed of their very noticeable erasure of Harry’s military service and his decade-long work as the founder of the Invictus Games, two biographical details which were ignored by Mary Tillman, Pat McAfee and the Deranger cult.

“The controversy whipped up over the decision…” So you’re admitting that the British media stoked the controversy, as they do over every single thing related to the Sussexes? Before the Pat Tillman Award, these same people were losing their minds at the Sussexes’ Nigerian tour and they were having panic attacks over JAM. Maybe the British media should worry about their own deeper reputational issues.

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