- Charissa Thompson made the shock admission on her time on the touchline
- She has spoken about it before – notably when she covered Detroit Lions
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
Charissa Thomspon led Amazon Prime’s NFL coverage on Thursday night despite her extraordinary admission that she made up quotes from NFL coaches as a sideline reporter – which has been met with widespread fury from fellow reporters across the industry.
In an interview on Pardon My Take earlier this week, Thompson made the staggering revelation and justified it by saying it would cover her if a coach was ever too busy to speak.
She explained: ‘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 A, the coach wouldn’t come out at halftime or it was too late and I was like, 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,’” she continued. “Like, they’re not gonna correct me on that.’
Thompson was still presenting the Amazon Prime broadcast for Thursday night’s NFL game between Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals. She didn’t address the outrage in the pre-game coverage.
Charissa Thompson on Amazon Prime Thursday, after admitting she makes up coach quotes
Thompson made the admission on a podcast earlier this week and the comments have been slammed by fellow reporters
But while she was facing the cameras, her industry colleagues were outraged.
CBS Sports’ sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson wrote on X: ‘This is absolutely not ok, not the norm and upsetting on so many levels.
‘I take my job very seriously, I hold myself accountable for all I say, I build trust with coaches and never make something up. I know my fellow reporters do the same.’
Fellow Fox Sports’ reporter Laura Okmin said: ‘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.
‘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.’
ESPN’s Buster Olney responded to Okmin and said: ‘If the coach/manager declines to answer any questions, you start with that. And then plane onto other information.’
Jenna Laine, also of ESPN, said: ‘I spent time as a sideline reporter and have dealt with instances where access and immediate information was a challenge.
‘If I may…this is why you over-prepare. Lean on reporting from earlier in the week with top storylines and get really unique back-stories. Hope that helps.’
CBS Sports’ sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson was one of many reporters who were outraged
Thompson was correct when she said she had mentioned this before.
In 2022, on a podcast she hosted with Erin Andrews called ‘Calm Down with Erin and Charissa’ she reflected on covering the Detroit Lions and speaking to head coach Rod Marinelli about the struggling team that went 0-16 through the season.
‘I was like ‘oh coach what adjustments are you gonna make at halftime?’ He goes, ‘that’s a great perfume you’re wearing.’ I was like ‘oh f**k, this isn’t gonna work.’ I’m not kidding, I made up a report,’ she said.
An Amazon Prime spokesperson was quoted by reporter Dan Kaplan on X as saying about Thompson: ‘She was telling a story from 15 years ago.’ Kaplan later deleted the tweet.
Thompson’s career started around 2007 with work at the Big Ten network and FOX Sports. She has also worked for ESPN before.