Megyn Kelly, the 50-year-old podcaster, logged on to Twitter yesterday and decided to start beef with Naomi Osaka, the 23-year-old tennis star. Like any good Twitter fight, this story has a few different chapters, so let’s start where all good stories start: the beginning.
In May, Osaka announced she would be skipping all press interviews during the French Open, even though she knew she would be fined $15,000. Later, she withdrew from the tournament altogether, citing a desire to focus on her mental health after struggling with “long bouts of depression” since the U.S. Open in 2018.
Yesterday, it was announced that Osaka would be one of three cover stars for Sports Illustrated’s annual swimsuit issue. Some Fox News douche — not Kelly, a different one — named Clay Travis found it important to point out that in the months since withdrawing from the French Open, Osaka has continued to exist and make money.
“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,” he wrote, linking to an article from the conservative sports blog he runs.
Kelly, a fact-checker, quote-tweeted Clay and added, “Let’s not forget the cover of (& interview in) Vogue Japan and Time Mag!”
Kelly’s first mistake was going after someone who was born in 1997, and who thus knows how to fight on the internet. In a now deleted tweet, Osaka wrote, “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.”
The misspelling of Kelly’s name, which you could say is already misspelled, is a nice cherry on top of a pretty good burn. Osaka then blocked Kelly, which is honestly what you should always do when someone who could be your mom starts cyberbullying you.
Unfortunately for Osaka, that just gave Kelly more fuel. Kelly shared a photo of Naomi’s profile, showing that she had been blocked, and wrote “Poor @naomiosaka blocked me while taking a shot at me (guess she’s 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. Admit it.”
Megyn, she’s not going to see that tweet.
Sorry, did you think we were done? We’re working with a three-act structure, babes. Please welcome to the court: Martina Navratilova!
Osaka’s tennis elder hopped on the virtual court to call Kelly an asshole. The two went back and forth for a bit, with Kelly eventually bringing up Navratilova’s problematic past tweet wherein she… quoted Martin Luther King Jr. after the murder of George Floyd.
Unfortunately, once two white ladies start arguing about Black Lives Matter, it’s time to bow out.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you’re looking for a victor here it might be Megyn Kelly. Osaka deleted her tweet, thus letting Kelly own the narrative and get all the engagement (which, as an underemployed former broadcaster, is all Kelly has). Or maybe it’s actually Clay Travis, who got to stand back and watch as a bunch of women fought about a controversy he manufactured while probably watching traffic pour into his scary blog. You could argue that Osaka won, because now that Kelly is blocked she runs zero risk of ever seeing a tweet of hers coming across the timeline. Perhaps we should all take a note from Osaka and block Megan... wait, sorry, Meghan... that’s still not it? Megyn? No, that can’t be right.