Piers Morgan slammed the unveiling of Naomi Osaka as the cover star for Illustrated sportsThe new swimsuit number 2021, after retiring from the Wimbledon and Roland Garros tennis tournaments.
Grand Slam champion Osaka, 23, made headlines in late May when it was announced that she was retiring from Roland Garros, saying her mental health issues made press conferences after – difficult match.
But after the new Illustrated sports The covers were revealed publicly on Monday – also debuting with Megan Thee Stallion as the post’s first rapper cover star and Leyna Bloom, the first transgender model to make headlines – criticism quickly erupted.
Responding to a report announcing the new Osaka cover, Morgan, 56, wrote on Twitter: “ANOTHER magazine cover for the courageous and inspiring Naomi! No wonder she didn’t have time for lectures bestial press! “
The British TV personality’s comments saw him join a chorus of critics who also spoke about Osaka’s coverage on the microblogging platform.
“Ever since she said she was too introverted to talk to the media after tennis matches, Naomi Osaka started a reality show, A Barbie, and is now on the cover of the SI swimsuit issue,” Outkick founder Clay Travis wrote on Twitter.
Responding to her tweet, presenter Megyn Kelly wrote: “Let’s not forget the cover of (and interview in) Vogue Japan and Time Mag!”
Osaka hit back at Kelly, writing in a since-deleted tweet: “Since you are a journalist I would have assumed you would take the time to research what the deadlines are for magazines, if you had you would have found out that I shot all my covers last year. Instead, your first reaction is to jump in here and spit some negativity, do better Megyn. “
However, Kelly continued her criticism by sharing a screenshot of a notification that Osaka had blocked her.
“Poor @naomiosaka blocked me by shooting me (I guess she’s only tough on the courts),” Kelly tweeted. “She apparently claims that she turned her many b / 4 covers, publicly claiming that she was too socially anxious to deal with the press. The truth is, she just doesn’t like the questions that she does. she can’t control. Admit it. “
As she walked in, Morgan told Kelly, “Yeah, and she just blocked me too. The only media Ms. Osaka wants to tolerate are sycophantic magazine editors telling her how perfect she is.”
When a Twitter user accused Morgan of targeting black women, he said: “Hillary Clinton, Madonna, Meryl Streep, Victoria Beckham, Emma Watson, Theresa May, Kate Winslet, JK Rowling and Jennifer Aniston might be surprised at hear that. “
This isn’t the first time Morgan has publicly criticized Osaka. In June, he made fun of the sportswoman after she shared it Vogue Japan coverage on Twitter.
In response, Morgan wrote: “It’s great to see Naomi bravely use beastly media to promote herself again. Inspirational!”
Earlier in June, he responded to a Vanity Show headline, which read: “Naomi Osaka received a wave of support from celebrities and professional athletes after deciding not to compete at Roland Garros.”
“Quite true too,” Morgan wrote on Twitter. “Nothing is more courageous, admirable or inspiring than an athlete earning $ 55 million a year, in large part thanks to positive media attention, who refuses to compete because he does not want to answer questions possibly negative at a press conference. “
In his column for the Daily mail, Morgan called Osaka “an arrogant spoiled brat whose fame and fortune seems to have inflated her ego to gigantic proportions”, shortly after it was revealed that she was withdrawing from press conferences at Roland Garros .
Morgan went on to accuse Osaka of “weaponizing sanity” in an attempt to “justify her boycott,” writing: “What Osaka really means is that she doesn’t want to face the media if she didn’t perform well, because beastly journalists might actually dare criticize her performance, and she’s not going to “submit” to “people who doubt me.”
In an editorial published in Time magazine earlier in July, Osaka insisted his decision to withdraw from tournaments was “never a matter of the press.”
“I repeat for those in the back: I love the press; I don’t like all press conferences,” wrote Osaka, who also argued that athletes should be allowed to take breaks in their press obligations without fear of being penalized or fined.
“We often sit there and ask questions that have been asked many times before or questions that make us doubt and I just will not submit to people who doubt me,” Osaka said in a statement. of May. statement announcing its decision not to participate in press conferences at Roland Garros.
She continued, “I’ve watched a lot of clips of athletes breaking down after a loss in the press room and I know you do too. I think the whole situation kicks a person as they go. is down and I don’t understand the reasoning behind it. “
Osaka was threatened with deportation and fined $ 15,000 by the French Open for refusing to give press interviews, then withdrew from the tournament, before announcing that she would not participate not at Wimbledon either.
The tennis ace, who has also received a wave of support since stepping back to protect her sanity, is expected to represent her home country of Japan at the Tokyo Olympics, which are set to start later. this week.
News week has contacted a representative of Naomi Osaka for comment.