A growing number of industry peers are expressing their concerns regarding Charissa Thompson, the host of Fox Sports NFL Kickoff, after she admitted to “making up” sideline reports during games. Thompson claimed that she resorted to this practice when coaches wouldn’t appear at halftime or when it was too late.
Tracy Wolfson, the Lead Sideline Reporter for the NFL on CBS, criticized Thompson’s actions, stating that they were “absolutely not ok” and “upsetting on so many levels.” Wolfson emphasized her commitment to taking the job seriously, being accountable for her statements, and building trust with coaches without resorting to fabrication.
Andrew Marchand, Sports Media Columnist for the New York Post, criticized Thompson for not only fabricating reports but also for publicly admitting to it. Marchand argued that this revelation makes other sideline reporters who conduct their jobs correctly look bad.
Chris Kirschner, a Yankees reporter for The Athletic, expressed disbelief that Thompson would proudly admit to such behavior, highlighting the damage it causes to the credibility of those who take their roles seriously. Kirschner deemed Thompson’s actions unethical and suggested that they could warrant her exclusion from the field.
Maddy Hudak, Sideline Reporter for Tulane Football, posted a passionate “6-minute diatribe,” expressing her dissatisfaction with the situation, conveying her displeasure with Thompson’s actions.
Mollie McGrath, a college football and hoops sideline reporter for ESPN, criticized Thompson’s behavior, describing it as “not normal or ethical.” McGrath emphasized the trust coaches and players place in reporters with sensitive information and warned that dishonesty could lead to a loss of trust and credibility.
Thompson revisited her admission on the Pardon My Take podcast, reiterating that she sometimes made up reports due to coaches’ unavailability. She defended her actions by stating that coaches wouldn’t challenge generic statements like improving on third down, reducing turnovers, and performing better on the field.
In response, McGrath advised young reporters that Thompson’s behavior is not acceptable or ethical, emphasizing the importance of maintaining trust and credibility with coaches and players who share sensitive information.