Naomi Osaka tells Megyn Kelly to 'do better' after criticizing athlete's magazine covers
TORONTO -- Naomi Osaka told Megyn Kelly to “do better,” after the ex-TV show host criticized the tennis pro’s recent magazine covers on Twitter.
On Monday, the four-time Grand Slam singles champion was revealed as one of the cover models for Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue, along with Megan Thee Stallion and trans model Leyna Bloom.
She also recently graced the covers of Vogue Japan and TIME, which all garnered a huge amount of support online.
Conservative sports analyst Clay Travis tweeted that it was hypocritical of Osaka to be on the covers, seeing as she decided not to speak at French Open press conference in May to protect her mental health.
“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,” Travis wrote, to which Kelly responded: “Let’s not forget the cover of (& interview in) Vogue Japan and Time Mag!”
In a since-deleted tweet, which was captured by outlet Sporting News, Osaka replied to Kelly: "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 I shot all of my covers last year. Instead, your first reaction is to hop on here and spew negativity, do better Megan."
The ex-Fox News host responded by continuing to criticize the tennis star online and showed that Osaka apparently blocked her on Twitter.
“Poor @naomiosaka blocked me while taking a shot at me (guess she’s only tough on the courts),"she 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.”
ADVOCATE FOR SELF-CARE
For the past several months, the media-shy Osaka has become far more vocal about taking care of her mental health, opting to not take questions at press conferences at the French Open in May.
At the time, support flooded in, including from actress Jameela Jamil, Formula 1 racer Lewis Hamilton, Serena Williams and her sister Venus Williams, who commented online: “Girl, do you. Your life is yours to live!”
But Osaka ultimately dropped out of the tournament a day after she was fined US$15,000 for skipping the press conference after her first round win. All four Grand Slam tournaments released a joint statement claiming the “mental health of players competing… is of the utmost importance to the Grand Slams.”
Osaka has since shared that she deals with depression and social anxiety.
In her recent essay for TIME, Osaka explained that athletes deserve the right to take a mental break from media "on a rare occasion without being subject to strict sanctions."
Netflix is currently airing a three-part documentary on Osaka, which gives a behind-the-scenes look at her life up to this point.