Fox News 2024-02-09 18:03:37


Democrat admits party needs to have conversation about replacing Biden as ’24 nominee

Democrats are growing increasingly worried about the state of President Biden’s mental acuity after the release of the special counsel report stemming from his handling of classified documents. 

Special Counsel Robert Hur released the report on Thursday, and although the president won’t face criminal charges, the report alleged Biden forgot key details of his life, including information surrounding his time as vice president and his son’s death, during pertinent interviews while the probe was being conducted. 

Biden called an unusual press conference after the release where he sparred with reporters, defending his record and state of mind while the media pressed him on his ability to lead the country. 

BIDEN, WHITE HOUSE BLAME ISRAEL WAR FOR FORGETTING BASIC FACTS DURING SPECIAL COUNSEL INTERVIEWS

“I think these questions now are going to come more to the fore,” “The Five” co-host Harold Ford, Jr. told Brian Kilmeade on Friday. “This was a tough night for the president, and I think many in the Democratic Party, which is my party, are going to have serious questions going forward about what this means.”

“This last night will be the closing ad in a campaign against President Biden as we get to November,” the former Tennessee congressman continued. 

“The question is, are Democrats willing to go forward between now and November with a candidate that many in the country may not think is up to the job for four more [years]?”

Biden repeatedly claimed he did not share classified information, which many called a direct contradiction to Hur’s report. 

He also sparred directly with Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy, Washington Post reporter Tyler Pager and CNN correspondent MJ Lee as they questioned him on age-related concerns. 

Later on during the press conference, as Biden vehemently defended his mental abilities, he mistakenly referred to Egyptian President el-Sisi as the Mexican president when addressing humanitarian aid to Gaza. 

FLASHBACK: DEMS RAN DEFENSE ON BIDEN’S AGE BEFORE SPECIAL COUNSEL PUT DAMNING SPOTLIGHT ON HIS ‘POOR MEMORY’

“The president’s lost his fastball,” Ford said. “President Biden last night, I think even in that interview, even in the press conference there, demonstrated to a lot of Americans what Mr. Hur wrote.”

Ford said before Thursday’s developments, he would have considered it “very unlikely” that Biden could end his re-election campaign.

“But as of right now, I think Democrats are going to have to grapple with this over the next several weeks and few months,” he continued. “And there are a few elders in the party that can perhaps have this conversation, and we’ll see if they do.”

Even as some Democrats panic over the fallout from the bombshell report, some far-left media outlets were quick to come to the president’s rescue. 

“Do you want to get into the age thing? Let’s call it what it is. This is ageism snuck into a report clearing the person of any wrongdoing,” MSNBC host Ari Melber said during a panel discussion. “If you want to get the ageism, young people are told all the time by their lawyers, ‘Hey, you’re way better off leaning into “I don’t recall” than possibly misstating something to a federal officer or under oath in this case.’ So it’s a lot of derogatory stuff.” 

“And I do think, and I want to be clear, a credit to the president that he chose to do fast cooperation. I think that’s good for the system. Politically, though, it’s now being used against him,” he later added. 

Melber’s MSNBC colleague Chris Hayes insisted Hur was “frustrated and angry” that he “didn’t get more” from his probe into Biden, pivoting to how age is the “central narrative question here that this all revolves around.” 

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“In terms of its political repercussions, the way the news happened today, the questions being asked [of] him by multiple figures there. And in the end, what makes it such a useful political tool for people that want Donald Trump to be elected or want [Biden] not to be re-elected is that the fact that his age is not something you can rebut,” Hayes said. “If someone says you’re too far left, you can tack to the center. The man is 80 years old!”

“He rides a bike!” host Rachel Maddow interjected. 

Fox News contributor Joe Concha joined “FOX & Friends First” to discuss his take on left-wing outlets defending the president after the release of the report. 

“The fact they’re defending Joe Biden’s mental state when 76% of the American people, by NBC news polls’ own standard, don’t think he has the mental fitness to be president now, let alone five years from now, when he would still be president if he won re-election,” he said Friday. 

Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report. 

Former Republican governor announces campaign to flip Dem Senate seat

Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Friday he is running for the U.S. Senate.

“I am running for the United States Senate — not to serve one party — but to stand up to both parties, fight for Maryland, and fix our nation’s broken politics,” the Republican said in a post on X. “It’s what I did as Maryland’s governor, and it’s exactly how I’ll serve Maryland in the Senate. Let’s get back to work.”

Hogan will be running for the seat opened up by the retiring Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin, a Democrat, who has held the position since 2007. The state hasn’t elected a Republican senator in decades and Hogan will face off against Democrats such as Rep. David Trone and Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks.

“Fifty years ago, my father, Maryland Congressman Larry Hogan Sr. made a very tough decision. He became the first Republican to come out for the impeachment of President Nixon. He put aside party politics and his own personal considerations and he stepped up to do the right thing for Maryland and the nation,” Hogan said in a video released Friday. “Today, Washington is completely broken because that kind of leadership, that kind of willingness to put country over party has become far too rare.” 

HALEY ENDORSED BY FORMER MARYLAND GOV. LARRY HOGAN

“My fellow Marylanders, you know me. For eight years, we proved that the toxic politics that divide our nation need not divide our state,” Hogan continued. “We overcame unprecedented challenges, cut taxes eight years in a row, balanced the budget and created a record surplus. And we did it all by finding common ground for the common good.” 

“The politicians in Washington seem to be more interested in arguing than actually getting anything done for the people they represent. Enough is enough,” Hogan added. “We can do so much better, but not if we keep electing the same kind of typical partisan politicians.” 

Hogan said he would “work with anyone who wants to do the people’s business” and that “we desperately need leaders willing to stand up to both parties.”

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The campaign announcement comes after Hogan recently endorsed Nikki Haley for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination and stepped down from the leadership of the third party movement No Labels.

Bahamas resort says sexual assault survivors’ allegations ‘conflict’ with security footage

A Bahamian resort has said two American women’s allegations of drug-laced cocktails and sexual assaults “conflict” with its 16 “time-stamped surveillance videos.”

Amber Shearer and Dongayla Dobson, lifelong friends from Kentucky, were enjoying a kid-free vacation when they stopped on Grand Bahama Island during a Carnival cruise. 

They said they felt woozy after a couple of sips of their drinks, lost consciousness and were sexually assaulted by resort employees, according to news outlets and their own posts on social media. They tested positive for high levels of drugs.

The resort, Pirate’s Cove in Freeport, Bahamas, said in a statement the “lengthy videos of all concerned” were handed over to local police. The FBI is also part of the investigation. 

KENTUCKY MOMS SURVIVE BAHAMAS DRUGGING, SEXUAL ASSAULTS AFTER CRUISE STOPS AT RESORT: REPORT

The resort did not immediately return Fox News Digital’s request for more information or answer follow-up questions about what resort officials saw on their cameras that “conflict” with the women’s allegations. 

“We regret that our guests experienced this incident, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to aid police in the collection of evidence in response to these allegations, including providing police access to video where the assault of the two guests allegedly occurred,” the resort said in its statement. 

WARNING FOR CRUISE PASSENGERS AS SEXUAL ASSAULTS HIT NEW HIGH IN 2023: FBI

The Freeport resort said it called law enforcement and medical personnel and took “swift” action by firing the two resort employees for violating resort policy.

“We have a zero-tolerance policy for fraternizing with guests or behaving in a manner that is unsafe,” the resort’s statement says. 

“While there is an active police investigation into these serious allegations, we have terminated the employment of the two accused, as the behavior seen on tape by management indicates that, at a minimum, they violated our zero-tolerance policy.”

“Local authorities and paramedics were called to the scene and Pirates Cove management assisted in identifying and locating the two alleged suspects,” the Freeport resort’s statement goes on to say. “In addition, after the police concluded their initial investigation, we assisted in transporting the women back to their cruise ship after guests refused transportation to the hospital.”

The women have not responded to Fox News Digital’s request for comment, and the FBI did not immediately respond with a comment about their involvement. 

The Royal Bahama Police Force said in a Feb. 4 statement that they arrested two men – ages 54 and 40 – in connection with the alleged sexual assault. Their names were not released. 

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In a follow-up statement, the Royal Bahama Police Force told the Nassau Guardian that the women declined medical assistance and signed a waiver before leaving for their cruise ship “in a private vehicle.”

“Recognizing the gravity of the incident, our officers boarded the cruise ship, providing a sexual assault kit and hospital form to the ship’s medical doctor and obtained signed statements from the victims,” the statement says. 

“Preliminary reports suggest the incident occurred shortly after noon at a central Grand Bahama beach. Upon learning of the incident, our officers immediately commenced investigations, leading to the arrest of two adult males, aged 54 and 40.”

Carnival Cruise Line said the two guests aboard the Carnival Elation reported the sexual assault that occurred on “an independent shore excursion,” according to the New York Post

“Our onboard Care Team provided support for the two guests as they sailed back to Jacksonville,” the cruise company said.

War of words and 70% of Bahamian economy at stake

As the resort fights the women’s allegations with its own statement, the United States Department of State and the Bahamian government exchanged cutting barbs over the department’s level-two travel advisory warning because of rising levels of crime.

“The majority of crime occurs on New Providence (Nassau) and Grand Bahama (Freeport) islands,” according to the State Department’s late January warning, which mentioned spikes in violent crimes like armed robberies and sexual assaults because of gang activity. 

Bahamian Prime Minister Philip Davis came out swinging by saying many tourism locations share the same level two designation. 

“The incidents described in the January 2024 US Embassy crime alert do not reflect general safety in The Bahamas, a count of sixteen tourist destinations, and many more islands,” Davis said on Jan. 29, five days after the U.S. warning. 

He said the Bahamian government “is alert, attentive and proactive to ensure that The Bahamas remains a safe and welcoming destination.”

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Nearly the entire Bahamian economy is at stake when it comes to tourism, which accounts for approximately 70% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product and employs just over half of the workforce, according to an October 2022 report by the International Trade Administration

The Bahamas was on track to welcome over 7 million American tourists by the end of 2023, according to the state department’s most recent Investment Climate Statement, which was released in 2023. 

‘Hot in Cleveland’ star lashes out at ‘diet culture’ after sharing ‘overweight’ bikini pic

Valerie Bertinelli revealed this week that she no longer weighs herself. 

The 63-year-old shared two photos of herself in a bikini in a Throwback Thursday Instagram post, writing, “This is a 150lb body on a 5’4 frame. I don’t weigh myself anymore because this is considered overweight by whose standards I don’t know.”

She added that the standards are “stupid and I believed them for far too long. I now, finally, know that I am a kind, considerate, funny, thoughtful woman. So please remember, who you are and what your character is, should never be overshadowed by what size you are or how much you weigh. You are enough. Just the way you are. F— ‘em.” 

VALERIE BERTINELLI, JENNIFER LOVE HEWITT FIGHT BACK AGAINST CRITICS: ‘THIS IS ME WITH NO MAKEUP’

The “Kids Baking Championship” star revealed in a post last month, in which she shared a “snack of the day,” that she does not “like diet culture” and is more focused on making sure she gets enough protein, carbs, fat and fiber. “So I’m just trying to keep an eye on those things without making myself crazy,” she said. 

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Bertinelli is also an avid exerciser and shared a post of herself doing Pilates in December, saying she always feels better after a workout. 

In a “vulnerable” post in October, Betinelli filmed herself in her closet, saying she had “found the clothes I was wearing in the very first ‘before’ picture for Jenny Craig.”

KELLY CLARKSON CREDITS WEIGHT LOSS TO HEALTHY DIET: ‘I’VE BEEN LISTENING TO MY DOCTOR’

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“I have done so much emotional and mental work to overcome years of pretending everything was OK when it wasn’t,” she said. “Health is not a body size. Health is not the number you see on the scale. Your worth as a human being isn’t dictated by your body. It’s not defined by your body.”

She continued, “I thought I was fat the last time I wore these clothes.”

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“I’ve never felt more beautiful, more at peace, more mentally and emotionally stable than I do today, and I’m wearing my ‘fat’ clothes. That’s f—ed up,” she scoffed. 

Last summer, she revealed that she had gone down a size earlier in the year after doing Dry January, a tradition in which people start the new year off without drinking alcohol for a month.

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“Back in November, I really started concentrating on my emotional and mental health. The harsh words and abuse can never be unheard and taken back, but here’s the thing, I wouldn’t have taken them in and believed them in the first place, if I hadn’t been saying harsh and unkind words to myself first,” she wrote, referencing her divorce from Tom Vitale.

She continued, “Through therapy, journaling, meditation, and slew of things you’ve watched me talk about on my feed the past year, I started to care about myself more and care how I treated myself more which led me to also care about the nutrition I put into my body. Caring not so much about calories but what are in those calories? Am I getting enough fiber? Am I getting enough protein? Am I getting enough vitamins, naturally, in my food? Am I drinking too much? What makes me feel better. What makes my body feel better?”

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“Keyword, FEEL better,” she stressed. She also explained, “I have cut back exponentially on alcohol and I’m sure that has helped with releasing the weight I was carrying for protection. And it did protect me. I’m grateful for that.”

Fox News’ Emily Trainham contributed to this report. 

Irish women’s basketball team refuses to shake hands with Israel after antisemitism claim

Ireland women’s basketball, playing in a 2025 EuroBasket qualifier on Thursday, refused to shake hands with Israel before the game after one Israeli basketball player accused the team of antisemitism.

Basketball Ireland released a statement before the game announcing that it had informed FIBA Europe that the team would not shake hands with Israel before or after the game, and they would not share center court with their opponents during the national anthems. 

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“Basketball Ireland informed FIBA Europe yesterday that as a direct result of recent comments made by Israeli players and coaching staff – including inflammatory and wholly inaccurate accusations of anti-Semitism, published on official Israeli Federation channels – that our players will not be partaking in traditional pre-match arrangements with our upcoming opponents,” the statement read. 

“This includes exchanging of gifts, formal handshakes before or after the game, while our players will line up for the Irish national anthem by our bench rather than centre court. Basketball Ireland fully supports our players in their decision.”

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The snub followed comments made by Dor Sa’ar, who made her debut with the national team on Thursday, which were published in an article by the Israeli Basketball Association earlier this week. 

“It’s known that they are quite antisemitic and it’s no secret, and maybe that’s why a strong game is expected,” her comments read. 

“We have to show that we’re better than them and win. We talk about it among ourselves, We know they don’t love us and we will leave everything on the field always and in this game especially.”

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Sa’ar’s comments followed calls for Ireland to boycott the game. According to the BBC, Basketball Ireland CEO John Feehan said the team was told that they would be hit with massive fines if they boycotted the game. 

“I’m pretty sure we’d be hit pretty hard because we did actually ask was there an alternative to playing this game and all the rest of it, and from that perspective there isn’t,” he said. 

Israel won the match 87-57. 

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‘The View’ host says she ‘deserves’ reparations despite enslaver background

Despite her family coming from slaveholders, “The View” host Sunny Hostin declared “I still believe in reparations!” 

On Thursday’s episode of the ABC daytime talk show, Hostin addressed her recent appearance on the PBS documentary show “Finding Your Roots.” The show’s host Henry Louis Gates Jr. revealed to Hostin that one of her ancestors on her maternal side was likely involved in the slave trade in colonial Spain and “owned at least one human being.”

Though she acknowledged the news with the panel, she insisted that she still “deserved” reparations.

“I still believe in reparations, by the way. So, y’all can stop texting me and emailing me and saying that I’m a White girl and I don’t deserve reparations!” Hostin said.

‘THE VIEW’ HOST SUNNY HOSTIN FUMES OVER BEING CALLED RACIST ON SOCIAL MEDIA

She added, “I still believe in reparations. I still believe this country has a lot to do in terms of racial justice.”

Despite initially feeling “deeply disappointed” at the revelations, Hostin remarked that she now feels “enriched” knowing her family’s history. 

“I’m enriched by knowing that my family has come so far from being enslavers to my mother marrying my father in 1968,” Hostin said.

“You’re not responsible for what they did,” Behar responded.

During the show, Hostin also described her mother’s reaction.

“She was deeply disappointed. She actually cried about it. And then she said maybe that’s why I have been so connected to Black culture because it’s an atonement in my spirit. And I received that. I also found out – and there were slaves on both sides of our family, mother’s and father’s. But we are seven percent indigenous Puerto Rican!” Hostin said. 

‘THE VIEW’ CO-HOSTS CLASH OVER WHETHER AMERICA IS A RACIST COUNTRY: ‘CAN’T DISMISS MY LIVED EXPERIENCE’

She added that her mother “really identified as Puerto Rican” prior to the news, but now Hostin argues the findings proved she was “White.”

“It’s deeply disappointing because my mother really identified as Puerto Rican. She was part of the civil rights movement, and she was deeply ingrained in Black culture, and identified herself as Black race, but Hispanic for ethnicity… but her race is White. She’s European. I know,” she said.

“It’s weird because when you look at her, my mother is blond, and she has light eyes and my whole family looks like that. So, I think inside I sort of knew this was my history and that’s probably why I didn’t want to do it,” Hostin said.

Hostin also discovered that her third great-grandfather registered to vote in Georgia back in 1867 despite being born into slavery in 1835.

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Nikki Haley alarmed by Biden’s special counsel’s report: ‘Unbelievably disturbing’

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley called Special Counsel Robert Hur’s report on President Biden and the mishandling of classified materials “unbelievably disturbing.”

Haley, who is running for the Republican nomination in the 2024 presidential election, made the comments during a Thursday interview on Fox News’ “Hannity.”

“It is unbelievably disturbing that they are showing that they see Biden to not have a good memory, that they see him as diminished, that they see that it’s a problem, and they point-blank say that,” Haley told host Sean Hannity.

NO CHARGES FOR BIDEN AFTER SPECIAL COUNSEL PROBE INTO IMPROPER HANDLING OF CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS

“I mean, this is actually dangerous,” Haley continued. “Look, people make fun of the fact that I say we need to have mental competency tests. There’s a reason 70 percent of Americans don’t want to see a Biden-Trump rematch.”

According to Hur’s report on Biden’s mishandling of classified documents released Thursday, the president could not remember key details of his own life — such as when he was vice president — during interviews with investigators. 

“In his interview with our office, Mr. Biden’s memory was worse,” the report states. “He did not remember when he was vice president, forgetting on the first day of the interview when his term ended (‘if it was 2013 — when did I stop being Vice President?’), and forgetting on the second day of the interview when his term began (‘in 2009, am I still Vice President?’).”

BIDEN ‘DID NOT REMEMBER WHEN HE WAS VICE PRESIDENT,’ WHEN HIS SON BEAU DIED, DURING SPECIAL COUNSEL INTERVIEWS

“He did not remember, even within several years, when his son Beau died,” the report continued. “And his memory appeared hazy when describing the Afghanistan debate that was once so important to him. Among other things, he mistakenly said he ‘had a real difference’ of opinion with General Karl Eikenberry, when, in fact, Eikenberry was an ally whom Mr. Biden cited approvingly in his Thanksgiving memo to President Obama.”

Haley said the report’s findings emphasize the need to bring in a younger generation of lawmakers to contend for the nation’s highest office.

“The party that gets rid of their 80-year-old candidate is going to be the party that wins,” Haley said.

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Hur has been investigating Biden’s improper retention of classified records since last year. Those records included classified documents about military and foreign policy in Afghanistan, among other records related to national security and foreign policy which Hur said implicated “sensitive intelligence sources and methods.” 

The special counsel will not recommend criminal charges against Biden for mishandling classified documents, despite finding “evidence that President Biden willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency when he was a private citizen.”

The materials included “marked classified documents about military and foreign policy in Afghanistan, and notebooks containing Mr. Biden’s handwritten entries about issues of national security and foreign policy implicating sensitive intelligence sources and methods.” 

Fox News Digital’s Joe Schoffstall, Brooke Singman, David Spunt and Jake Gibson contributed to this report.

Are boycotters ready to embrace Trump’s call to forgive Bud Light?

Former President Trump’s call for Americans to squash their beef with Bud Light has some ready to make amends, while others said they can’t move on.

“I don’t like being told when to forgive and forget,” Mark told Fox News while on Music City’s famous Broadway street. “I’m a firm believer in making up my own mind, my own decisions based on my beliefs.”

But Laura said Bud Light boycotters should follow the former president’s lead.

I think they should just forget about it and just move on,” she said. “It’s stupid. I’m sorry, but the whole thing was just stupid.”

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Nearly 10 months after millions of angry Americans turned their backs on Bud Light for partnering with transgender social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney in a marketing campaign, Trump told his supporters to give the brand and its parent company a “second chance.” 

“The Bud Light ad was a mistake of epic proportions, and for that a very big price was paid, but Anheuser-Busch is not a Woke company,” Trump wrote Tuesday on Truth Social. “Anheuser-Busch is a Great American Brand that perhaps deserves a Second Chance? What do you think?”

Dave, a Trump supporter and former Bud Light drinker of 20 years, disagreed with the former president’s message.

“We’ll give him a pass on this one,” Dave said. “We have to stay strong. We have to stand by our beliefs.”

CAN THE SUPER BOWL SAVE BUD LIGHT?

Similarly, Phoebe said she’s not ready to forgive the brand but “to each his own.” 

“If he wants to forgive them, that’s good,” she added.

Bud Light has seen a 30% drop in sales since April 2023, when its partnership with Mulvaney sparked a nationwide conservative boycott, according to a NielsenIQ data analysis.

Critics accused Trump of only defending the global beverage company because a top Republican lobbyist for Anheuser-Busch is set to host a fundraiser for the former president next month, with some tickets going at $10,000 each.

But some former Bud Light drinkers are considering putting the feud behind them following Trump’s defense of the brand.

That’s very nice of him to say that,” John said. “That’s very big of him to transcend that and make that statement.”

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Matt said he’s been boycotting the brand since April but that he “might start drinking it again.” 

“I had one last night,” he told Fox News. “I think President Trump is right. They paid a price, and you know what? They learn from it. And that’s good.”

Mira agreed with the former president and said “everyone deserves a second chance.”

“It’s been a year,” she said. “I think if you want to boycott, boycott, if you don’t, then just get over it.”

Fanatics, Make-A-Wish surprise children with NFL stars ahead of Super Bowl

Super Bowl week in the NFL is so much more than the final game of the season. For many companies in Las Vegas this week, it’s about giving back. 

Fanatics and Make-A-Wish understand that, and through their partnership, 20 Make-A-Wish children from around the country will have their wish granted by seeing Super Bowl LVIII between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. 

But what they didn’t know would happen to them first was a surprise visit by some NFL stars during a shopping experience at the Lids store at Showcase Mall on Thursday. 

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The children were shocked when Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin, Chief People Officer Orlando Ashford, and Make-A-Wish CEO Leslie Motter introduced Dallas Cowboys edge rusher Micah Parsons, Las Vegas Raiders receiver Davante Adams, and Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin at the store. 

Everyone on hand helped the kids pick out their favorite sports goods at Lids before heading to Paradise Card Breaks hobby shop, where the kids got to participate in a “Pack War” event for coveted sports trading cards. 

FANATICS, MAKE-A-WISH GET HELP FROM TOM BRADY AMONG OTHER ATHLETES TO KICK OFF GROUNDBREAKING PARTNERSHIP

For Make-A-Wish, the Super Bowl is one of their biggest events annually, as many children wish to witness the big game in-person and watch as the confetti falls on the champion of the NFL season. 

This event with Fanatics, who became the official sports partner of Make-A-Wish in October 2023, is just the tip of the iceberg for the children this week, as they’re going through a full VIP experience in Vegas. 

Ashford told Fox Business Digital back in October how Rubin wanted to do much more with Make-A-Wish after having an experience with the Philadelphia 76ers earlier that year, where he got to fulfill some children’s wishes with a VIP experience during a game. 

Fanatics made an initial $10 million contribution to Make-A-Wish, while also providing additional resources, including merchandise and production costs for external storytelling efforts. 

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As Ashford said, “This is just the beginning.” It couldn’t be more true as Fanatics continues to use its reach among star athletes across all sports and help make these Make-A-Wish events that much better for the children.