*Naomi Osaka and Megyn Kelly had a heated exchange after the tennis champ debuted her Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue cover.
As reported by PEOPLE, Kelly took aim at Osaka over her latest numerous magazine covers, which come with her declining to give interviews at the French Open, citing mental health issues.
It all started when Kelly responded to a tweet from conservative sports pundit Clay Travis that read: “Since saying she’s too introverted to talk to the media after tennis matches, Naomi Osaka has launched a reality show, a Barbie, and now is on the cover of the SI swimsuit issue.”
“Let’s not forget the cover of (& interview in) Vogue Japan and Time Mag!” Kelly replied.
Naomi Osaka called out Megyn Kelly over criticism of the tennis star appearing on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. pic.twitter.com/esvaIiHLoL
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) July 19, 2021
In a since-deleted tweet to Kelly, Osaka said her covers were shot before she went public about her social anxiety.
“Seeing as you’re a journalist I would’ve assumed you would take the time to research what the lead times are for magazines, if you did that you would’ve found out I shot all of my covers last year,” Osaka tweeted back, per a screenshot captured by Sporting News. “Instead your first reaction is to hop on here and spew negativity, do better Megan [sic].”
She then blocked Kelly on Twitter.
“Poor @naomiosaka blocked me while taking a shot at me (guess she’s only tough on the courts),” Kelly wrote. “She is apparently arguing that she shot her many covers b/4 publicly claiming she was too socially anxious to deal w/press.”
“Truth is she just doesn’t like Qs she can’t control. Admit it,” the former Fox News host added.
Osaka previously shared that she has suffered from depression since 2018. She was fined $15,000 at the French Open for refusing to speak to the media. She withdrew from the competition in May and later opted not to compete in Wimbledon.
“I feel uncomfortable being the spokesperson or face of athlete mental health as it’s still so new to me and I don’t have all the answers,” she wrotein an essay published by Time on July 8 “I do hope that people can relate and understand it’s okay to not be okay, and it’s okay to talk about it. There are people who can help, and there is usually light at the end of any tunnel.”
Poor @naomiosaka blocked me while taking a shot at me (guess she’s only tough on the courts). She is apparently arguing that she shot her many covers b/4 publicly claiming she was too socially anxious to deal w/press. Truth is she just doesn’t like Qs she can’t control. Admit it. pic.twitter.com/izyRzOrUVm
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) July 19, 2021
Meanwhile, as previously reported, Mattel has launched its Black Label, an Osaka Barbie Role Model doll and it sports gear that she wore at the 2020 Australian Open.
“It’s such an honor to be a part of the Barbie Role Model series, and to remind young girls that they can make a difference in the world. I want young girls everywhere to feel empowered to dream big and to know that if they believe in themselves that anything is possible!” 23-year-old Osaka said.
The Barbie Role Model dolls are the likeness of “remarkable women who are breaking boundaries and inspiring the next generation,” the Mattel release said.
“We are incredibly honored to spotlight Naomi Osaka as part of our Barbie Role Model series. She has paved the way for future generations of girls to dream bigger, and through her unwavering courage and honesty, shown the world the importance of being your own biggest champion. Naomi continues to break boundaries on and off the court and is a powerful role model to fans everywhere,” said Lisa McKnight, SVP and Global Head of Barbie & Dolls at Mattel.