Fox Sports and Amazon host Charissa Thompson took to social media on Friday to clarify her comments on a podcast earlier this week that she would “make up” sideline reports during NFL games.
Thompson, who hosts Fox’s “NFL Kickoff” and Amazon Prime Video’s “Thursday Night Football” coverage, said in an Instagram post that he did not make up quotes from players or coaches, and would report his observations on the sidelines.
“Working in the 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 sportscaster,” Thompson wrote.
“In the absence of a coach providing information that could improve my report, I would use the information I learned and saw during the first half to create my report. For example, if a team went 0 for 7 on third down, that would clearly be an area that they need to improve in the second half. In these cases I never attributed anything that was said to a player or coach.
Tennessee Titans coach Mike Vrabel said Friday that he had not heard any reporters make up any quotes from him.
“I’m sure it would be boring if they made up what I had to say. Don’t all laugh at once, guys,” he said.
Minnesota Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell, who worked as a sideline reporter for San Diego State football games in his first post-NFL job in 2012 once he was done playing, said he has always tried to be accommodating to reporters in that role.
“I don’t know much about what happened. I just know that every interaction I’ve had has been professional and the questions have really been thought-provoking and really something that, hopefully, provided some edge to the television broadcast during the game,” O’ said. Connell. “I can’t always give away all the information, but I think it’s important to be honest and articulate and make sure you put a little thought into the things you say, so hopefully the message gets across to our fan base.”
Thompson did sideline reporting on the NFL and college football for Fox Sports and Big Ten Network in 2008 and 2009. Since then, she has primarily handled in-studio hosting duties for ESPN, FS1, Fox and Amazon.
Thompson’s appearance in ‘Pardon My Take’
Thompson said in an episode of the “Pardon My Take” podcast released Wednesday that “sometimes I would make up the report because, A, the coach didn’t come out at halftime or it was too late and I was like, ‘I didn’t do it.'” I didn’t want to ruin it. the report, so I thought, “I’m going to make this up.”
In a 2022 podcast, Thompson and Fox’s Erin Andrews said there were times when they paraphrased what the coaches told them at halftime.
Thompson’s comments drew widespread condemnation, including from other sideline reporters. Lisa Salters, a reporter for ESPN’s “Monday Night Football,” posted on social media Thursday night that she was “shocked, disappointed and disgusted.”
Salters added: “Trust and credibility. They mean everything to a journalist. Violating any of them, in any way, is not only a mockery of the profession, but a disservice to the players, coaches and, most importantly, to the fans.”