Sports | July 20, 2021 1:27 pm

Megyn Kelly and Naomi Osaka Volley Twitter Barbs Over Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Cover

Kelly criticized the tennis pro for appearing on the cover after saying she was stepping out of the spotlight

Tennis player Naomi Osaka of Team Japan. Megyn Kelly recently lashed out at Osaka on Twitter about the athlete's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover.
Naomi Osaka of Team Japan trains ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Maja Hitij/Getty Images

In addition to breaking new ground by putting rapper Megan Thee Stallion on the cover, Sports Illustrated is further modernizing its Swimsuit issue this year by putting Naomi Osaka, who is Haitian and Japanese, on the front of an alternate edition of the annual publication.

“I’m so proud to be the first Japanese and Haitian woman to grace one of the covers. I feel like that multi-cultural background is present in all of the things that I do. I try to incorporate it in everything, so hopefully, you see that,” Osaka said in the magazine. “My memories [of the magazine] kind of involves the people that I grew up admiring, so I remember Tyra Banks’s issue, I remember Beyonce’s. Just growing up and watching so many incredible women grace this cover, for me, it feels like a dream.”

Ever the poop stirrer, Megyn Kelly took exception with the 23-year-old’s decision to appear on the cover of the magazine after she withdrew from the French Open and sat out Wimbledon in order to take some time for herself and avoid the spotlight. Sharing her views on Twitter, as she is no longer on Fox News or NBC, Kelly co-opted a tweet from conservative commentator Clay Travis to take a shot at the four-time Grand Slam champion.

Before blocking Kelly, Osaka took a shot at the 50-year-old. “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 wrote. “Instead your first reaction is to hop on here and spew negativity, do better Megan.”

Unable to directly fire back due to being blocked, Kelly instead hollered into the Twitter void.

Kelly knows a lot about questions as it was her query about why it is considered racist for white people to wear blackface on Halloween during a segment of the Megyn Kelly TODAY show that cost her the NBC gig.

Osaka, who will represent Team Japan at the Tokyo Games later this month, also blocked hot-take artist Piers Morgan.

“She just blocked me too,” he wrote. “The only media Ms Osaka wants to tolerate are sycophantic magazine editors telling her how perfect she is.” Smart, eloquent and informed points all around.

In addition to Megan Thee Stallion and Osaka, transgender model, actor and activist Leyna Bloom will appear on another cover of the SI Swimsuit issue.