Sports Illustrated Swimsuit editor-in-chief MJ Day hit back at Megyn Kelly after the former Fox News host complained on Twitter Monday that Naomi Osaka was on the magazine’s 2021 cover.
Day called Kelly for bullying the 23-year-old tennis superstar and pointed out that the former cable host spat vitriol directed at Osaka on a public platform without knowing the facts surrounding her Sports Illustrated shoot.
“It’s so bullying and it’s so unnecessary, and this woman hasn’t done anything wrong,” Day said during an appearance on People’s “People Every Day” podcast with host Janine. Rubenstein Tuesday.
After images of the Osaka cover were posted on Monday, Kelly trolled the four-time Grand Slam champion over her appearance on magazine covers after deciding to withdraw from the Roland Garros and Wimbledon tournaments in the spring, citing the need to protect their mental health.
Kelly responded to a tweet from right-wing sports commentator Clay Travis, who also trolled Osaka by trying to relate his decision to take care of himself to the time of posting some of his ongoing projects, including his appearance in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. issue, due out in August.
“Let’s not forget the cover of (& interview in) Vogue Japan and Time Mag! Kelly responded.
Day pointed out that Osaka shot her Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover in December 2020 – months before her announcement in May that she would not make any press appearances at this year’s Roland Garros.
“Well, first of all, we did this shoot in December 2020,” Day said on “People Every Day.”
The editor said she was so ‘triggered’ by Kelly’s attacks that she shared screenshots from the Osaka set with a December 2020 timestamp on her Instagram Stories to prove the point Kelly would have due, at the bare minimum, to exercise due diligence.
“It broke my heart,” Day said, noting that Osaka “was living her life for the good of others, while trying to pursue her own passion, tennis and fashion.”
“Let her live, let her make decisions for herself that protect her own well-being… it doesn’t cost anyone anything. And also these are only facts, we did this shoot in December, ”she added.
Osaka also had a few words for the 50-year-old former Fox News anchor; she encouraged Kelly to “do better”, according to screenshots of a tweet deleted from.
“Since you are a journalist, I would have assumed that you would take the time to research what the deadlines are for magazines, if you had done that you would have found out that I had shot all of my covers last year,” said the tennis player. star reportedly tweeted. “Instead, your first reaction is to come up here and spit out some negativity, do better Megan.”
Kelly, who joined NBC in 2017 and was fired the following year for advocating for the use of blackface in Halloween costumes during a segment of her show, doubled down on her attacks on Osaka in a subsequent tweet.
She appeared embarrassed that Osaka blocked her on Twitter, criticizing the athlete for only being “tough on the courts.”
Elsewhere during her appearance on “People Every Day,” Day gushed about her experience working with Osaka on set in December, sharing that they shot the cover on a secluded beach with a small crew in Malibu.
Asked about Osaka’s reputation for having a shy personality, Day said the great tennis player is “so sweet, she has such a soft voice, she speaks when she has something to say.”
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