, the former Fox News
host, complained on Twitter
on Monday that Naomi Osaka
was featured on the magazine's 2021 cover, prompting Sports Illustrated Swimsuit
editor MJ Day to respond.
Day chastised Kelly for bullying
the 23-year-old tennis
prodigy, pointing out that the former cable news
host spewed vitriol at Osaka on a public platform despite not knowing the facts
Sports Illustrated shoot.
“It’s such bullying, and it’s so unnecessary, and this woman did nothing wrong,” Day said on Tuesday’s episode of People
’s “People Every Day” podcast
, hosted by Janine Rubenstein.
Following the publication of images of Osaka's cover on Monday, Kelly mocked the four-time Grand Slam
champion for appearing on magazine covers
after she opted out of the French Open
tournaments in the spring, citing the need to protect her mental health
Kelly responded to a tweet by right-wing sports commentator Clay Travis, who also trolled Osaka by attempting to link her decision to exercise
self-care with the timing of the release of some of her ongoing projects, including her appearance in the August issue of Sports Illustrated.
“Let us not forget the covers of (and interviews in) Vogue Japan
and Time Magazine!” Kelly exclaimed.
Not to mention the covers (and interviews) in Vogue Japan and Time Magazine! https://t.co/PAAUEwAVi0
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) July 19, 2021
Day pointed out that Osaka shot her Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover in December 2020, months before her May announcement that she would not make any press appearances at the French Open this year.
“First and foremost, we shot that in December of 2020,” Day explained on “People Every Day.”
The editor said she was so "triggered" by Kelly's attacks that she posted screen grabs of Osaka's shoot with a December 2020 timestamp on her Instagram
Stories to demonstrate that Kelly should have, at the very least, done her research
“It broke my heart,” Day said, adding that Osaka is “living her life for the betterment of others while also attempting to pursue her own passions, which are tennis and fashion
“Let her live, let her make decisions for herself that protect her own well-being... it comes at no cost to anyone, and it’s also just facts, we did this shoot in December,” she added.
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit (@si_swimsuit) shared this post on Instagram.
According to screenshots of a since-deleted tweet, Osaka also had some words for the 50-year-old former Fox News anchor, encouraging her to "do better."
“Seeing as you’re a journalist
, I would’ve assumed you would’ve taken 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 tennis star allegedly tweeted, adding, “Instead your first reaction is to hop on here and spew negativity, do better Megan.”
Kelly, who joined NBC
in 2017 and was fired the following year for defending the use of blackface in Halloween
costumes during a segment of her show, escalated her attacks on Osaka in a later tweet.
She seemed irritated that Osaka blocked her on Twitter, accusing the athlete of being 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. pic.twitter.com/izyRzOrUVm — Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) July 19, 2021
Day also gushed about her experience working with Osaka on set in December, sharing that they shot the cover on a secluded beach in Malibu with a small crew.
When asked about Osaka's reputation as a shy person, Day said the tennis legend is "so sweet, she's so soft-spoken, she speaks when she has something to say."