Naomi Osaka shot back at Megyn Kelly after the former NBC News anchor criticized the tennis star for appearing on magazine covers after refusing to speak to media at the French Open.
Osaka made international headlines in May when she announced she wouldn’t participate in post-match news conferences during the tournament, later leaving the French Open and withdrawing from Wimbledon. She said in social media posts at the time that she was instead prioritizing her mental health.
In tweets on Monday, Kelly and conservative commentator Clay Travis appeared to accuse Osaka of not being genuine about her struggles after she graced the covers of multiple magazines earlier this month.
“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 tweeted.
Kelly joined in, adding: “Let’s not forget the cover of (& interview in) Vogue Japan and Time Mag!”
In response, Osaka said in a now-deleted tweet: “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.”
The 23-year-old tennis champ appeared to block Kelly after that.
Osaka “blocked me while taking a shot at me,” Kelly tweeted. “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.”
Kelly joined NBC News from Fox News in 2017, but her time was cut short after she questioned why it is considered racist for white people to wear blackface on Halloween during a segment of the “Megyn Kelly TODAY” show. She later apologized for her comments and left the company with the remainder of her $69 million contract.