Andrea Kremer at Super Bowl LVII's NFL Honors show. Feb 9, 2023; Phoenix, Arizona, US; American journalist Andrea Kremer poses for a photo on the red carpet before the NFL Honors award show at Symphony Hall. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Charissa Thompson caused an incredible stir this week with comments on Barstool Sports’ Pardon My Take. Thompson’s “I would make up the report sometimes” remark in relation to her sideline reporting role at Fox (where she worked as a NFL sideline reporter from 2008-10) drew widespread backlash and condemnation from other sideline reporters.

Thompson’s remarks also were blasted by other media figures, and even the Society of Professional Journalists. And some of the most notable comments on that yet come from famed Emmy-winning former sideline reporter, Pro Football Hall of Fame honoree, and prominent commentator Andrea Kremer.

Kremer’s long career spanning NBC, HBO, ESPN and more includes a 2006-11 stint as a sideline reporter on Sunday Night Football. And her remarks were a key part of a New York Times story from Jenny Vrentas and Kevin Draper Friday:

That “kernel of doubt” line is certainly notable. And Kremer went on to offer some other significant criticisms of Thompson’s remarks. Here’s how Vrentas and Draper wrote those up in that piece:

Andrea Kremer, an Emmy-winning sports journalist who has both reported from the sidelines of N.F.L. games and called them from the broadcast booth, described the damage from Thompson’s comments as “profound.” In particular, she said, it harmed those working as sideline reporters, who are relied on to provide news on things like injury updates during the game and to elicit instant reaction from coaches and players.

…She said she believed the impact of Ms. Thompson’s admission would not be fleeting. “This even transcends just sideline reporting and sports, because in the climate in which we are in today, where fake news is part of the lexicon, somebody is admitting that they made something up,” Ms. Kremer said.

She added: “It’s just so difficult for all the hard-working people out there, who now have to have this as one more obstacle. I feel like an entire position, a whole role, got devalued and it was made a mockery of.”

That piece also features notable comments from initial female NFL sideline reporter Lesley Visser and Fox/Westwood One sideline reporter Laura Okmin. But Kremer’s comments stand out. And that “kernel of doubt” line is quite significant, as it hits at the key issue here.

The specific behavior from Thompson is an issue. But the one particular circumstance she cited before this week of a coach only telling her he liked her perfume came with some possibly-mitigating context, which is why that didn’t take off as much at that time as it has this week.

This week saw Thompson talk about “making up the report” more frequently than that and doing so when she just couldn’t get to a coach rather than when a coach gave her nothing beyond questionable remarks. (For what it’s worth, Thompson has since claimed on Instagram that she “never lied about anything” and always properly attributed observations.) But Thompson’s discussion here came in a way that has potential consequences for all sideline reporters, which is what’s led to a lot of the reaction here. And Kremer illustrated well why this matters in her comments to the Times.

[The New York Times]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.