Charissa Thompson addressed the backlash she received after appearing on the Barstool podcast via Instagram on Nov. 17.
“Ok, let’s address the elephant in the room,” the journalist wrote. “I have a responsibility to myselfand my employers to clarify what is being reported. When on a podcast this week, I said I would make up reports early in my career when I worked as a sideline reporter before I transitioned to my current host role.”
“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 went on to describe a situation in which she “would use information” that she received from what she witnessed during a game without attributing the words to “a player or coach.”
“I have nothing but respect for sideline reporters and for the tireless work they put in behind the scenes and on the field.”
The original story is below:
The sports media has been taken aback by the puzzling admission of a popular reporter. Charissa Thompson, a host and sportscaster for Fox Sports, admitted — for a second time — that she fabricated news reports when broadcasting from NFL sidelines.
Earlier this week, Thompson appeared on Barstool’s “Pardon My Take” podcast with Dan Katz and talked about giving sideline reports when she had absolutely nothing to report on.
“I’ve said this before,” Thompson said on the podcast. “I haven’t been fired for saying it, but I’ll say it again. I would make up the report sometimes, because A, the coach wouldn’t come out at halftime, or it was too late and I didn’t want to screw up the report. So I was like, ‘I’m just gonna make this up.’”
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) November 16, 2023
Other media members and sports fans were baffled at Thompson’s blatant remarks and took to social media to express their anger.
This is extremely infuriating and completely unethical. DON'T FOR ONE SECOND BELIEVE THIS IS THE NORM. This is already a role in a profession that is already stereotyped as just being "eye candy." Good sideline reporters do their homework, talk to players and coaches throughout… https://t.co/3Hrx6WOg2n
— Morgan Uber (@Morgan_Uber) November 16, 2023
1) this stinks
2) we'll have an earnest convo about in-game coach content one day. https://t.co/dJEdo2j00e
— Nekias (Nuh-KY-us) Duncan (@NekiasNBA) November 16, 2023
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. https://t.co/yMnM1T995P
— Molly McGrath (@MollyAMcGrath) November 16, 2023
There are some things you just never admit publicly. Also, this ain’t a great look at all for reporter credibility and journalism. https://t.co/NOzz7uFqIo
— Chris Williamson (@CWilliamson44) November 16, 2023
Make up the report? Seriously? If I made up a report and presented that to our Bulls listeners I should be reprimanded and released. What happened to integrity? https://t.co/QHxosk33dw
— chuck swirsky (@ctsbulls) November 16, 2023
A good portion of the public doesn’t trust the media as is. 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. https://t.co/c3s6ErFZOI
— Chris Kirschner (@ChrisKirschner) November 16, 2023
There are so many wonderful, ethical journalists out there struggling to find work. What are we even doing with this nonsense?
In case it has to be said: This isn't the norm. This isn't OK. And this 100% will get you fired. Or it should. https://t.co/tOw1XKAaNN
— Laura Albanese (@AlbaneseLaura) November 16, 2023
This seems uh extremely problematic.
Inexcusable thing to do and wild to just admit to it. I don’t see how she can ever work as a sideline reporter again. https://t.co/exEDzclQai
— Ben Ross (@BenRossTweets) November 16, 2023
Thompson had admitted on her 2022 podcast “Calm Down with Erin and Charissa,” with fellow veteran sports reporter Erin Andrews, that she would “make up reports” in order to cover up for coaches who barely give anything worth reporting on.
“I was like, ‘Oh, Coach what adjustments are you gonna make at halftime?’ He goes, ‘That’s a great perfume you’re wearing.’ I was like, ‘Oh (expletive), this isn’t gonna work.’ I’m not kidding, I made up a report,” Thompson said on the podcast.
Andrews sided with Thompson.
“I’ve done that too,” Andrews said. “For a coach that I didn’t wanna throw under the bus because he was telling me all the wrong stuff!”
Thompson has been in the sports business since 2007 and has worked for major networks like the Big Ten Network, ESPN and Fox. She’s currently the host of “Fox NFL Kickoff” and “Thursday Night Football” on Amazon Prime Video.