Side-by-side photos. Megyn Kelly in red on the left, Naomi Osaka in zebra print on the right.

Naomi Osaka, among the greatest tennis players on the planet, is in a Twitter feud with conservative pundit Megyn Kelly. Osaka has blocked Kelly on Twitter, and Kelly is not pleased. Gossip Cop has the story.

The Magazine Cover

Osaka joins transgender actress Leyna Bloom and rapper Megan Thee Stallion on the covers of 2021’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. Osaka posted about the cover on Instagram and Twitter, taking pride in her caption: “First Haitian and Japanese woman on the cover of SI swimsuit 🇭🇹🇯🇵❤️.”

Many were left a little perplexed a tad perplexed by Osaka’s choice. She famously declined interviews at the French Open this year in an effort to preserve her mental health. Modeling is her prerogative, but the whole thing really set off Megyn Kelly.

A Bit Of Hypocrisy?

Responding to a tweet from a conservative sports pundit, Kelly brought attention to her millions of followers that Osaka was “too introverted” for interviews but happy to speak to Time and Vogue on her own terms. 

Osaka fired back. In a since-deleted tweet, she said, “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.” The interviews pre-date the French Open. Osaka added, “do better Megan.”

Kelly Gets The Final Dig

Osaka deleted her tweets shortly after sending them, then appears to have blocked Kelly on Twitter. Kelly got the last word in, tweeting that Osaka “just doesn’t like Qs she can’t control.” Osaka has not responded.

Kelly thrives off controversy and loves to engage with any hot button issue. Osaka’s decision to avoid the press has been both praised and attacked, so we shouldn’t be surprised that it would turn Kelly’s head. It’s a bit hypocritical of Osaka to avoid the press and engage with it when it pleases her, but it’s totally within her right to do so. Kelly endorsing the idea that she’s “too introverted” is much closer to bullying than a nuanced opinion on how athletes should interact with the press.

No matter what Kelly has to say, Osaka’s already made history with this cover and will no doubt continue to do so on the court. Stay tuned to Gossip Cop if this beef heats back up.

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