In the cover photo released on Monday 16 May, 25-year-old Yumi, who is also a singer, is donning a black swimsuit.
Soon after the cover’s release, controversial Canadian psychologist and best-selling author Peterson criticised Yumi, writing: “Sorry. Not beautiful. And no amount of authoritarian tolerance is going to change that.”
His tweet angered many fans, with some calling him a “mediocre political pundit”.
The Atlantic’s Elizabeth Bruenig wrote: “Probably the point at which you have to theorise the idea of ‘authoritarian tolerance’ is the point at which you just gotta rethink your conceptual frame.”
Comedian John Fugelsang joked: “And Jordan Peterson gets to give this verdict of Yumi Nu bc he’s just so god-damned good looking.”
Well if it isn’t another classic example of an irrelevant man going out of his way to reject a woman who doesn’t know he exists. https://t.co/9h1xCuLyMk
— 𝓥𝓲𝓸𝓵𝓪 𝓕𝓪𝓾𝓿𝓮𝓵𝓵𝓮 🏹 (@ViolaFauvelle) May 17, 2022
Another person wrote: “On behalf of all the hot a** thick bi*ches in the world. We don’t give a f*** what you think.”
Many fans also praised and congratulated Yumi on her magazine cover.
“Congratulations to you Yumi! You look incredible, confident and proud. It’s about time that Sports Illustrated has finally diversified. Perhaps I’ll buy this issue and I’d hope to have an autographed copy,” one fan wrote.
Another person added: “If I had seen this as a young person my feelings about my body would be so different.”
And history is made! Congratulations Yumi!👏🏾👏🏾😍 https://t.co/aL01Idrgrj
— Nondumiso (@Ndumi54321) May 17, 2022
“Congratulations Yumi! You look amazing! And thank you for inspiring women everywhere. Well done, Sports Illustrated. Well done,” another fan wrote.
Yumi herself shared a photo of her cover story on Instagram, with the caption: “I have not been able to sleep, breathe or think straight since I found out.
“I never dreamt of this because I didn’t know that I could. Thank you from the bottom of my heart @mj_day and @si_swimsuit family for believing in me. I’m so honored to make history with you.”