JOE REEDY Associated Press
Fox Sports and Amazon host Charissa Thompson took to social media on Friday to clarify her comments on a podcast earlier this week that she would do “sideline reports” during NFL games.
Thompson, who will host Fox’s “NFL Kickoff” show and Amazon Prime Video’s coverage of “Thursday Night Football,” said in an Instagram post that she did not make quotes from players or coaches, and would report her comments on the sideline .
“Working in the media I understand how important words are and I chose wrong words to describe the situation. I’m sorry. I didn’t lie about anything or be unethical during my time as sportscaster,” Thompson wrote.
“In the absence of a coach any information that could advance my report I would use information I learned and saw in the first half to create my report. For example if a team was 0 against 7 on third down, that would be obvious. an area they need to improve in the second half. In these cases I have never accused a player or coach of anything in these circumstances.”
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Tennessee Titans coach Mike Vrabel said Friday he didn’t hear a reporter make any quotes from him.
“I’m sure it would be boring if they did what I said. Don’t laugh all at once, guys,” he said.
Minnesota Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell, who worked as a sideline reporter for San Diego State football games in his first post-NFL job in 2012 when he finished playing, said he always tried to accommodate reporters in the role that.
“I don’t know much about what happened. I know that every interaction I’ve ever had has been professional and really thought-provoking questions and really something that probably gave some bonus to the television broadcast during the game,” said O’Connell. “I can’t always give all the information, but I think it’s important to be honest and clear and make sure you think about what you say and hopefully that message will be delivered to our fans.”
Thompson reported on NFL and college football sidelines for Fox Sports and the Big Ten Network in 2008 and ’09. Since then she has handled in-studio hosting duties primarily for ESPN, FS1, Fox and Amazon.
Thompson said on an episode of the “Pardon My Take” podcast released Wednesday that “sometimes I would make up the report because, A, the coach wouldn’t come out at halftime or it was too late and I was like, I didn’t “. You want to break up the report, so I was like, ‘I’m just going to make this up.'”
On a podcast in 2022, both Thompson and Fox’s Erin Andrews said there were times when they repeated what coaches told them at halftime.
“I have nothing but respect for sideline reporters and the hard work they put in behind the scenes and on the field,” Thompson said in her social media post. “I’m just grateful and humbled to work alongside some of the best people in the business and call them some of my best friends.”
Thompson’s comments drew widespread criticism, including from other sideline reporters. ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” reporter Lisa Salters posted on social media Thursday night that she was “shocked, disappointed and embarrassed.”
Salters added: “Trust and credibility. They mean everything to a journalist. If either is breached – in any way – it not only makes a mockery of the profession, it’s a disservice to players, coaches and , more importantly, for the fans.”
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