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UPDATED with the latest: A growing chorus of peers are talking about Fox Sports Start of the NFL Anchor Charissa Thompson’s admission that she was “making up” sideline coverage because, she says, “The coach wasn’t coming out at halftime or it was too late.”
The latest comment came from CBS lead NFL sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson, who called Thompson’s actions “absolutely wrong, not the norm and upsetting on so many levels.”
Wolfson continued, “I take my job very seriously, hold myself accountable for everything I say, build trust with the coaches and never make things up.”
New York Post sports media columnist Andrew Marchand wrote that Thompson “went wrong on many levels,” mostly by making up reports, but also by voluntarily disclosing them and making “all the sideline reporters who are doing their job right, to look bad as a result’.
Yankees Athletic reporter Chris Kirchner wrote, “Much of the public doesn’t trust the media as it is. I can’t believe she would proudly admit this. This does significant harm to people who really take the job seriously. It is completely unethical and worth never working in the field again.”
Maddie Hudak, a sideline reporter for Tulane Football, posted a “6-minute diatribe” about “this sideline reporting situation.” Short version: She’s not happy.
PREVIOUSLY at 1:13 p.m.: ESPN college football and hoops reporter Molly McGrath weighed in on recent comments from Fox Sports Start of the NFL host Charissa Thompson, calling Thompson’s behavior when she was a sideline reporter for Fox “abnormal or unethical.”
In an appearance this week on excuse me podcast, Thompson, who also does pregame, halftime and postgame coverage for Amazon Prime Thursday Night Footballrevised his admission from last year that he sometimes completely made up reports.
“I’ve said this before, so I haven’t been fired for it, but I’ll say it again,” Thompson said, “Sometimes I made up the report because A.) Coach didn’t come to halftime or it was too late and … I didn’t want to to screw up the report, so I was like, “I’m just going to make this up.”
Thompson then offered his rationale.
“First of all, no coach is going to be upset if I say, ‘Hey, we’ve got to stop getting hurt, we’ve got to be better on third down, we’ve got to stop turning the ball over.’ . . and do a better job of getting off the field. Like I’m not going to be corrected for that.
Today, McGrath hit back: “Young reporters: This is not normal or ethical. Coaches and players trust us with sensitive information, and if they know you’re dishonest and don’t take your role seriously, you’ve lost all trust and confidence.”