Megyn Kelly and Naomi Osaka engaged in some back-and-forth on Twitter Monday after the former Fox News host called out the pro tennis ace for appearing on a number of magazine covers, including the 2021 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, though she said she was backing out of the limelight for the time being.
The exchange began after Kelly reacted to criticism about Osaka, 23, being featured on magazine covers after she bowed out of the French Open in May and said she would not take the time to speak to reporters, claiming she was dealing with social anxieties and depression.
Kelly, also a former NBC News host, responded to Outkick founder and conservative radio host Clay Travis, who wrote: “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.”
Kelly retweeted Travis’ post, adding, “Let’s not forget the cover of (& interview in) Vogue Japan and Time Mag!”
The exchange grabbed Osaka’s attention, who argued in a since-deleted tweet that the mag covers were all shot last year.
“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. Instead your first reaction is to hop on here and spew negativity, do better Megan [sic],” she wrote, according to reports.
Osaka then blocked Kelly, which in turn drew another snipe from the former Fox News star.
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
“Poor @naomiosaka blocked me while taking a shot at me (guess she’s only tough on the courts),” Kelly noted in a tweet. “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 tennis champ is one of three stars making the cover in this year’s SI Swimsuit Issue, which goes on sale July 22. In addition, she is the first black athlete to have made the cover.
But Osaka, who is a two-time U.S. Open champ, has also been featured on the cover of Vogue Japan’s August issue as well as Vogue Hong Kong’s July 2021 digital version.
Time magazine also featured her on its cover this month. She wrote an essay for the outlet explaining why she dropped out from Roland Garros after being fined for refusing to participate in mandatory press conferences — because of her mental health concerns.
She discussed her mental health problems in a Netflix documentary that premiered July 16 called, appropriately, “Naomi Osaka.” And she’s recently released a best-selling Barbie doll.
But apparently, Kelly wasn’t the only notable journalist Osaka blocked.
Former “Good Morning Britain” co-host Piers Morgan noted on Twitter that Osaka had blocked him as well.
“Yep, and she just blocked me too. The only media Ms Osaka wants to tolerate are sycophantic magazine editors telling her how perfect she is,” he wrote in response to Kelly’s tweet.
Morgan has been critical of Japan-born Osaka recently, riffing on her for pushing media reforms while taking advantage of the media to promote herself and her works.