Fox Sports and Amazon Prime Video host Charissa Thompson used to be a sideline reporter for NFL games, but she admitted that not everything she reported was true.
Speaking on the “Pardon My Take” podcast, Thompson talked about her experience as a sideline reporter and the conversations they have with coaches and players, primarily just before or right after halftime. Typically before the game starts, the sideline reporter will give any details coaches told them, but she sometimes made up what they say.
“I’ve said this before, so I haven’t been fired for saying it, but I’ll say it again,” Thompson said. “I would make up the report sometimes because, A, the coach wouldn’t come out at halftime or it was too late and I was like, I didn’t want to screw up the report, so I was like, ‘I’m just gonna make this up.'”
She then explained there was no harm in anything she would say to audiences.
“No coach is gonna get mad if I say, ‘Hey, we need to stop hurting ourselves, we need to be better on third down, we need to stop turning the ball over and do a better job of getting off the field,'” she continued. “Like, they’re not gonna correct me on that. I’m like it’s fine, I’ll just make up the report.”
Criticism of Charissa Thompson
Several reporters criticized Thompson’s admission of giving fake reports, with people saying it hurts the credibility of the job and trust with coaches.
“Young reporters: This is not normal or ethical,” ESPN reporter Molly McGrath said. “Coaches and players trust us with sensitive information, and if they know that you’re dishonest and don’t take your role seriously, you’ve lost all trust and credibility.”
“A good portion of the public doesn’t trust the media as is,” The Athletic reporter Chris Kirschner said. “I cannot believe she would proudly admit this. This causes significant harm to the people who actually take the job seriously. It’s entirely unethical and worthy of never working in the field again.”
“What a bad look for the job at hand,” former U.S. soccer star and Apple TV MLS analyst Taylor Twellman said. “Sideline reporters who put in the work and hustle for gaining the respect of the subjects at hand don’t deserve this narrative. IF and when you lie, you hurt all of those in the profession and those coming after you. Weak.”
What did Charissa Thompson say in the past?
Like Thompson said during the appearance on “Pardon My Take,” this isn’t the first time the “Thursday Night Football” host has said she has made up reports as a sideline reporter.
In her “Calm Down” postcast in 2022, Thompson told Fox Sports’ Erin Andrews, she would make up sideline reports, something Andrews also said she had done, for a coach “that I didn’t wanna throw under the bus.”