Charissa Thompson – NFL broadcaster says she made up sideline reports during games

NFL broadcaster Charissa Thompson is apologizing after she revealed that she made up reports during games while she was a sideline reporter.

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In a recent episode on the “Pardon My Take” podcast, Thompson, who is a host on Fox Sports and “Thursday Night Football” on Amazon Prime Video, discussed her experience as a former sideline reporter and admitted to fabricating what coaches would tell her as part of the game’s broadcast.

“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 reports 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.'”

Tennessee Titans v Pittsburgh Steelers
Charissa Thompson on set of the Amazon Prime TNF pregame show prior to an NFL football game between the Tennessee Titans and the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium on November 2, 2023 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.GETTY IMAGES

She also added that she believed what she was doing was harmless.

“First off, no coach is going to 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 added. “Like, they’re not going to correct me on that. I’m like it’s fine, I’ll just make up the report.”

Thompson later apologized in an Instagram post on Friday, appearing to walking back her comments, saying she “I have never lied about anything or been unethical” during her time as a sports broadcaster.

“I have nothing but respect for sideline reporters and for the tireless work they put in behind the scenes and on the field,” she wrote.

Still, her comments drew frustration and condemnation among fellow sports journalists covering the NFL. Tracy Wolfson, who is the lead sideline reporter for the NFL on CBS, said it’s “absolutely not ok.”

“I take my job very seriously, I hold myself accountable for all I say, I build trust with coaches and never make something up,” Wolfson tweeted. “I know my fellow reporters do the same.”

ESPN reporter Lisa Salters, who covers “Monday Night Football,” said she was “disappointed” and “disgusted” after hearing Thompson’s remarks.

“Trust and credibility,” she wrote on Twitter. “They mean everything to a journalist. To violate either one – in any way – not only makes a mockery of the profession, but is a disservice to players, coaches and, most importantly, to fans.”

CBS News reached out to Fox Sports and Amazon in response to Thompson’s comments, but did not immediately hear back.