Fox Sports Charissa Thompson has been blasted by her peers and sports fans for admitting to faking her NFL sideline reports on the Pardon My Take podcast.
According to DEADLINE, Thompson tried to rationalize her admission, saying that she’d make up the reports because she didn’t want to “screw it up” when the coaches either missed or showed up late at halftime.
“First of all, 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.’ Like, they’re not gonna correct me on that,” she said.
CBS’s Lead NFL Sideline Reporter Tracy Wolfson and ESPN college football and basketball sideline reporter Mollie McGrath were among the many who voiced outrage at Thompson’s admission.
“Young reporters: This is not normal or ethical. 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,” McGrath wrote on X.
“This is absolutely not ok, not the norm and upsetting on so many levels. I take my job very seriously, I hold myself accountable for all I say, I build trust with coaches and never make something up. I know my fellow reporters do the same,” wrote Wolfson.
In response to the backlash Thompson apologized in an Instagram story, stating that she had “never lied” or had done anything unethical in her sports broadcasting career.
“Working in media I understand how important words are and I chose the wrong words to describe the situation. I’m sorry. I have never lied about anything or been unethical during my time as a sports broadcaster,” Thompson wrote.
“I have nothing but respect for sideline reporters and for the tireless work they put in behind the scenes and on the field. I am only appreciative and humbled to work alongside some of the best in the business and call them some of my best friends,” she concluded.