Naomi Osaka called out Megyn Kelly on Monday after the journalist cast doubt on the tennis professional’s mental health struggles. In a now-deleted tweet, Osaka told Kelly to “do better” and stop spreading “negativity.”
The exchange started when Kelly weighed in on conservative commentator Clay Travis’s tweet about Osaka’s press blitz, nearly two months after the Grand Slam winner sparked controversy over her media blackout.
“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 replied, noting the 23-year-old’s recent Vogue Japan and Time magazine covers.
The tweet caught Osaka’s attention, who responded directly to the 50-year-old former Fox News and NBC anchor.
“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,” Osaka fired back. (Yes, she misspelled Kelly’s first time to the delight of many on Twitter.)
Osaka ultimately deleted her tweet, but it was captured online.
Kelly doubled down, though, and claimed Osaka is not “too socially anxious to deal” with the media.
“Poor @naomiosaka blocked me while taking a shot at me (guess she’s only tough on the courts),” Kelly wrote. “Truth is she just doesn’t like [questions] she can’t control. Admit it.”
Osaka publicly revealed her struggles with mental health two months ago.
The four-time Grand Slam champion announced she wouldn’t speak with the press, just days before she was set to compete at the French Open. After facing backlash for her stance, she withdrew and revealed she’s “suffered long bouts of depression” since the 2018 U.S. Open. Osaka then withdrew from Wimbledon to take “some personal time with friends and family” ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.
Osaka is the subject of a new Netflix docuseries, which dropped last week, and sheds light into the star’s private world — and mind. In an Instagram post, she said she was “terrified” for its release and how it would be received.
“I hope there are pieces that people can relate to and maybe other pieces that would help people understand why I make the choices I make. If it doesn’t that’s cool too, it took me a while but I realize that I can’t please everyone and I’m really not trying to. When I go to sleep at night I can only hope I am at peace with myself and I hope the same thing rings true for anyone reading this. I’m excited/nervous for you guys to see it and I hope you enjoy it lol,” she wrote.
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