Naomi Osaka and Megyn Kelly went head-to-head on Twitter on Monday. 

The conflict began after Kelly criticized the tennis superstar’s recent Sports Illustrated cover.

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Naomi Osaka – Photo: Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated
Naomi Osaka – Photo: Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated

Kelly retweeted a post from Fox Sports Radio host Clay Travis, which 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.”

She added, “Let’s not forget the cover of (& interview in) Vogue Japan and Time mag!”

Osaka has previously said that she gets “huge waves of anxiety before I speak to the world’s media.”

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In a since-deleted post, Osaka retweeted Kelly and wrote, “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.”

She added, “Do better Megan [sic].”

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In reply, Kelly tweeted, “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.”

M.J. Day, editor of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue discussed Kelly’s comments, confirming in an interview with the “People Every Day” podcast that the cover was actually shot in December 2020.

“It’s such bullying and it’s so unnecessary, and this woman did nothing wrong,” Day said. “I’m like, ‘You know what, you’re journalists. How about you do your job and you fact check instead of jumping all over this woman for attention?'”

Added Day: “It broke my heart to see someone who is really living her life for the betterment of others while also trying to pursue her own passion, which is tennis and fashion. Let her live. Let her make decisions for herself that protect her own wellbeing. It’s at no cost to anyone.”