A SPORTS Illustrated blasted conservative pundit Megyn Kelly for attacking Naomi Osaka for appearing on the magazine’s swimsuit cover, saying Kelly’s attacking was plain “bullying.”
MJ Day, a swimsuit editor at the magazine, called out Kelly as someone who was targeting a star woman athlete who “did nothing wrong.”
“It’s such bullying, and it’s so unnecessary,” Day told Janine Rubenstein, host of the People Every Day podcast, on Tuesday.
“I’m like, ‘You know what, you’re journalists. How about you do your job and you fact-check, instead of jumping all over this woman for attention?'”
Kelly responded to Day’s comments a day later, saying she was not a bully but instead called out NBC for bullying women.
“NBC News – well-known champions of women – asked for a comment on whether I “bullied” the world’s highest paid female athlete in questioning her story. They were too cowardly to print my response so here it is,” she said in one tweet.
“NBC News has a long history of bullying women. Perhaps it should consult one of the many executives, anchors and in-house attorneys responsible about whether that term applies here,” she added.
Kelly attacked Osaka on Monday for appearing on SI’s swimsuit edition despite her bowing out of the French Open due to prioritizing her mental health over media requests.
In response to another conservative commentator’s tweet about Osaka’s SI cover, Kelly said “Let’s not forget the cover of (& interview in) Vogue Japan and Time Mag!”
In a since deleted tweet, Osaka replied, saying “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.”
Day, on the podcast, confirmed the photoshoot did occur last December.
She added that Kelly was “part of the problem” in helping people combat mental health issues.
“How about we do our due diligence and make sure we know what the reality of a situation before we come for people?” Day said.
“It broke my heart to see someone who is really living her life for the betterment of others while also trying to pursue her own passion, which is tennis and fashion.”
On Osaka, Day had sound advice.
“Let her live. Let her make decisions for herself that protect her own well-being. It’s at no cost to anyone.”