A sports journalist has sparked an uproar over her work ethics after admitting she would “make up” sideline reports when coaches didn’t speak to her during NFL football games, before backpedaling Friday and denying she lied.
“I haven’t been fired for saying it and I’ll say it again: I would make up the report sometimes,” journalist Charissa Thompson said Wednesday on the “Pardon My Take” podcast.
“Because… 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 going to make this up.”
Thompson was a sideline television reporter for Fox Sports and now works for streaming platform Amazon Prime, where she is the main host of the Thursday night NFL pre- and post-game discussions.
Her revelations quickly triggered controversy in the sports journalism world, with some saying her propensity to falsify reports discredits other sideline journalists.
“I’m sickened by the insulting mockery being made of sideline reporting, a challenging role primarily manned by women — most of whom understand & respect the values of journalism,” Andrea Kremer, who has covered the NFL for some 40 years, posted on X, formerly Twitter.
Responding to the controversy, Thompson backtracked Friday in a post on Instagram, saying “I have never lied about anything or been unethical during my time as a sports broadcaster.”
She added: “In the absence of a coach providing any information that could further my report I would use information that I learned and saw during the first half to create my report,” including noting areas where a team needed to improve.
“In these instances I never attributed anything I said to a player or coach,” Thompson added.
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