Thompson’s comments on fabricating her reports during games came as she was reflecting on what she did on the sidelines when she wasn’t able to get quotes from coaches.
“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,” she revealed on the Nov. 15 episode of the Pardon My Take podcast, per Entertainment Tonight. “Because, A, 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 going to make this up.'”
She continued, “No coach is going to get mad if I say, ‘Hey, we need to stop hurting ourselves,’ ‘We need to be better on third down.’ They’re not not gonna correct me on that, so I’m like, ‘Fine, I’ll just make up the report.'”
Her comments were swiftly criticized by many, including other women who have worked as sideline reporters.
“As one of only 3 women in the @ProFootballHOF,” Emmy Award winning sports reporter Andrea Kremer wrote on X, formerly Twitter, Nov. 16. “I’m sickened by the insulting mockery being made of sideline reporting, a challenging role primarily manned by women – most of whom understand & respect the values of journalism and are integral, trusted members of a broadcast team.”
ESPN broadcaster Molly McGrath added, “Young reporters: This is not normal or ethical. Coaches and players trust us with sensitive information, and if they know that you’re dishonest and don’t take your role seriously, you’ve lost all trust and credibility.”