Charissa Thompson gets annihilated by NBA and NFL Twitter after admitting that she sometimes makes up sideline reports

Jason Simpson
3 Min Read
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Fox Sports’ Charissa Thompson, who used to be an NFL sideline reporter for the network before transitioning to a new role, recently admitted that she sometimes made up reports during games instead of gathering information from coaches and accurately relaying it.

She explained during a podcast appearance that coaches were sometimes hard to get ahold of at halftime, so in some cases, she took it upon herself to share generic reports that were unlikely to raise any eyebrows.

“I’ve said this before, so I haven’t been fired for saying it, but I’ll say it again,” she began. “I would make up the report sometimes because…the coach wouldn’t come out at halftime, or it was too late, and I was like — I didn’t wanna screw up the report — so I was like, ‘I’m just gonna make this up,’ because, first of all, no coach is gonna get mad if I say, ‘Hey, we need to stop hurting ourselves. We needed to be better on third down. We need to stop turning the ball over. … And do a better job of getting off the field.’ They’re not gonna correct me on that, so I’m like, ‘It’s fine. I’ll just make up the report.'”

Folks in the sports world have had a lot to say about Thompson’s admission, with many of them calling her out for her approach.

While it’s somewhat rare for coaches to offer any groundbreaking information or comments during in-game interviews, it’s the principle of Thompson’s admission that is alarming to many. She seemingly violated some key journalistic ethics by making up reports.

Moreover, it’s certainly possible that some of her made-up reports attributed quotes or messages to coaches who wouldn’t have said the things she reported had she actually spoken to them — even if the information she reported was trivial in nature.

Thompson’s decision to speak publicly about the tactic also seems to be catching some people by surprise, and it’s becoming evident that she may have put herself in a bit of a hole by admitting what she did.

It may be worth noting that some folks have started to question the value of in-game interviews in sports. While sideline reporters do important work beyond simply speaking to coaches at halftime, teams keep their cards so close to their chests that coaches are often unlikely to share anything of significant value during the middle of a contest.

It will be interesting to see if Thompson ultimately issues a statement in response to the backlash she’s receiving for her comments.

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