Naomi Osaka (23) has quickly become a star both on and off the tennis court since her sensational rise to Grand Slam Champion at just 20 years old. But her latest head-to-head was against former reporter-turned-pundit Megyn Kelly (50).
Conservative sports pundit Clay Travis took the first shot, tweeting “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 quickly jumped in the conversation, saying, “Let’s not forget the cover (& interview in) Vogue Japan and Time Mag!”
Osaka refused to do one post-match interview at Roland Garros stating she needed to focus on her mental health. For which she was fined $15,000 by the French Open before deciding to withdraw from the tournament altogether. Now spearheading a movement to bring awareness to the mental health of tennis players and athletes across different sports.
The Grand Slam Champion fired back at the Conservative pundits, specifically Kelly, in a tweet that has since been deleted: “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.”
Kelly responded with a photo of Naomi’s account showing that Megyn was blocked and tweeting, “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 with the press. Truth is she just doesn’t like Qs she can’t control. Admit it.”
Osaka says she has been dealing with depression since 2018, stating in an essay published by Time that she believed athletes deserve “the right to take a mental break from media scrutiny on a rare occasion without being subject to strict sanctions.”
The champion continued, “I do hope that people can relate and understand it’s okay to not be okay, and it’s okay to talk about it. There are people who can help, and there is usually light at the end of any tunnel.”
Photo via zhukovsky/Deposit Photos