Charissa Thompson’s pals are going full-throated in their support of the under-fire NFL host.
Thompson, formerly a sideline reporter for Fox Sports, revealed on Barstool Sports’ “Pardon My Take” podcast this week that she would make up halftime reports when she was unable to speak with coaches.
Among those coming to her aid is Kelly Stafford, wife of Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford and a close friend of Thompson’s.
“Thought of the day,” Stafford posted on her Instagram on Friday. “A man makes a mistake or has his words taken out of context, his male colleagues/friends band together and support one another. A woman does the same thing, their female colleagues/fake friends do the opposite.
“Feels like some ‘feminists’ seem to only choose to be feminists when it supports their agenda.”
While Stafford — who introduced Thompson to boyfriend Steve Cundari — did not name anyone in her post, Thompson has received criticism from a handful of sideline reporters, including ESPN’s Mollie McGrath, former NBC sideline reporter Michele Tafoya and CBS’ Tracy Wolfson.
“If you use someone who is getting knocked down to further your career and get your name out there? What does that say about you?,” Stafford wrote in the comments of her post. “I could tell you what it looks like from afar, but I’m gonna give you the benefit of the doubt and instead of hating on you, forgive you for being so f–king selfish.”
Former NFL host Rachel Bonnetta also offered a sympathetic take on Thompson’s plight on Friday after racing to her defense on social media a day earlier.
“I feel like a valuable conversation we all could have had today is like why aren’t women in sports taken seriously?” Bonnetta said in a video posted to X. “Why do coaches not want to talk when we go into halftime? Why can’t they let us do our jobs?”
Bonnetta did not blame Thompson for fabricating reports, arguing the issue is about doing what you have to as a young professional.
“Being a sideline reporter is a really tough gig,” Bonnetta said. “You are prepping all week long. You are interviewing coaches, you are interviewing players and when it comes time to game day, you’re really only getting two to three minutes of airtime out of an entire broadcast. And when you’re starting you obviously don’t get a lot of opportunities.”
On Friday, Thompson addressed the blowback in an Instagram post.
“When on a podcast this week, I said I would make up reports early in my career when I worked as a sideline reporter before I transitioned to my current host role,” she wrote. “Working in media I understand how important words are and I chose the wrong words to describe the situation. I’m sorry. I have never lied about anything or been unethical during my time as a sports broadcaster.”