Fox Sports and NFL on Amazon Prime Video host Charissa Thompson apologized Friday for her comments on a recent podcast episode in which she said that she made up some halftime reports during her time as an NFL sideline reporter in the late 2000s.
“Working in media I understand how important my words are and I chose the wrong words to describe the situation. I’m sorry,” Thompson wrote in a statement posted on Instagram. “I have never lied about anything or been unethical during my time as a sports broadcaster.
“In the absence of a coach providing any information that could further my report I would use information that I learned and saw during the first half to create my report. For example if a team was 0 for 7 on 3rd down, that would clearly be an area they need to improve on in the second half. In these instances I never attributed anything I said to a player or coach.”
Thompson’s statement continued: “I have nothing but respect for sideline reporters and for the tireless work they put in behind the scenes and on the field. I am only appreciative and humbled to work alongside some of the best in the business and call them some of my best friends.”
While speaking on an episode of the “Pardon My Take” podcast, Thompson said, “I’ve said this before, so I haven’t been fired for saying it, but I’ll say it again: I would make up the report sometimes, because … 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.’ Because first of all, no coach is gonna 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.’ They’re not gonna correct me on that,” she continued. “So I’m like, ‘It’s fine, I’ll just make up the report.’”
Many reporters, including Fox Sports’ Laura Okmin, were critical of Thompson’s comments on the podcast.
“THE privilege of a sideline role is being the 1 person in the entire world who has the opportunity to ask coaches what’s happening in that moment,” Okmin wrote on X, formerly Twitter, on Thursday. “I can’t express the amount of time it takes to build that trust. Devastated w/the texts I’m getting asking if this is ok. No. Never.”
A spokesperson for Amazon’s NFL on Prime Video previously declined to comment. Fox Sports also declined to comment.
(Photo: Cooper Neill / Getty Images)