Naomi Osaka has been focusing on her mental health ahead of her return to tennis at the Tokyo Olympics, but fans still got to see her on the covers of Vogue Japan, Time, and the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition this month. That brought even more scrutiny on the four-time Grand Slam champion, who withdrew from the French Open rather than face a press conference, including from former NBC and Fox host Megyn Kelly. "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," conservative commentator Clay Travis tweeted Monday. Added Kelly, "Let's not forget the cover of (& interview in) Vogue Japan and Time Mag!" Osaka responded, saying the journalist should've researched the lead times for magazines as "I shot all of my covers last year."
Travis and Kelly should've known this, meaning "they potentially knowingly cantilevered a fake notion to their combined millions of followers," writes USA Today's sports, race, and inequality editor Mike Freeman. Osaka called on Kelly to "do better," then blocked her. But Kelly wasn't done. "Guess she's only tough on the courts," she responded. "Truth is she just doesn't like Qs she can't control." SI swimsuit editor MJ Day, who confirmed the cover was shot in December, accused Kelly of bullying Osaka "for attention," per NBC News. For Freeman, it's no coincidence that Osaka's critics (Piers Morgan among them) are white. It's about "control mixed in with a number of other combustibles, like race, misogyny," he writes. No matter the motive, it's "grotesque and shameful ... to harass a woman over her depression," conservative CNN host SE Cupp writes at the Chicago Sun-Times. (Read more Naomi Osaka stories.)