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Exclusive: Golf writer says staff 'went ballistic' over story on pregnant golfer's pro-life, Christian views — and outlet's higher-ups refused to run it

Professional Golfer Amy Olson (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Professional golfer Amy Olson captured a wave of media attention last month when she competed at the 2023 U.S. Women's Open at Pebble Beach while seven months pregnant with her first child. However, one story about Olson never made the news.

Steve Eubanks, a former senior writer at Global Golf Post and former managing editor of Global Golf Post+, told TheBlaze that he “resigned on the spot” when the executive editor and publisher insisted that his interview with Olson would only run “if we take out the abortion and the Christian stuff,” referring to the golfer’s comments about her faith and pro-life views.

According to Olson and Eubanks, the interview was ultimately withheld from publication on two separate occasions involving different media outlets.

What are the details?

Eubanks, an Atlanta-based author and columnist, was asked to write a preview story covering the U.S. Women's Open, which was held at Pebble Beach in California this year for the first time. For the subject of his piece, Eubanks chose Olson, who would be competing in the July event while expecting her first child with husband Grant Olson.

The interview with the LPGA professional covered a wide range of topics, but Eubanks knew that one part of their conversation, in particular, would make the news.

When asked about the recent surge in media attention because of her decision to compete while pregnant, Olson pointed out the "irony" of the situation.

Olson: I've been honored that people have picked up the story and been interested. I feel like everyone has been supportive. Nothing but goodwill has come toward me, and I've so appreciated that.

I will say that the irony is not lost on me that, one year ago, when Roe v. Wade was overturned, I was playing in a major championship outside Washington, D.C., and women from around the world, and even on tour, were outraged. Now, a year later, people are celebrating that I'm going to be playing a major championship with an unborn child that they recognize as a life.

Even on Golf Channel, one of the hosts said that instead of 156, this year there will be 157 players in the field, recognizing that our child is a human being who will be out there with me.

That irony is not lost on me. I celebrate that our general humanity and common sense knows why this is something special.

Eubanks invited Olson to share how she navigated the media in June 2022 when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

Olson: I had a number of private conversations and I made a public statement, which was the first public statement I'd ever made on something that was quote-unquote political, although I think it's so much more than political. It's really reductionist to call it a political issue.

Like anything, you have to handle it with compassion and truth. A lot of people had emotional reactions and really misunderstood, to an extent, what Dobbs did. I always tried to bring it back to what the court actually said. Yes, to an extent it was about life. But the court said, "Hey, we made the wrong decision in saying that courts should decide issues of abortion. This should be decided by elected officials who can be voted in and out of office." So the court passed it back to state legislators, people who are accountable to the people.

Regardless of where you stand on the issue, things got terribly misrepresented, especially in the media where they often do. But for me it was certainly an interesting time.

When asked whether it is challenging being a Christian today, Olson opened up about her faith.

Olson: It's very tough. Being a Christian has always been political because Christianity is supposed to touch every aspect of your life. I believe in comprehensive Christianity. It dictates how you treat people, how you think about the world, and the decisions that you make. There's nothing in my life that isn't affected by faith. To think that there is a realm out there not affected by my faith is something I can't even fathom.

But over the last decade it's become extremely difficult because a lot of the things that Christianity stands for have become political battlegrounds. Christ hasn't changed His view on any of those things, but the culture has changed. So it's a lot less acceptable to be an open Christian and to believe what Christianity has stood for the last 2,000 years.

Eubanks: Are you comfortable with the stands you've taken, even today as you say these things?

Olson: Absolutely, because, ultimately, I don't stand before a human court. I stand before God. It's why I do what I do and say what I say. Those around me will also have to stand before God, so if I ever say anything that is quote-unquote "offensive" I don't do it to offend; I do it as a mission. Everyone stands before God in the end. I don't want anyone to meet that moment unprepared.

I think the most unloving thing you can do is remain silent while someone you love and care about is walking down a path that is ultimately going to hurt them.

Eubanks told TheBlaze that when he filed the story with Global Golf Post's editorial team, the staff "went ballistic."

"About five hours into the editing process, I got calls from the editor saying, in his exact words, 'The staff is going nuts. They're saying we can't run this,'" Eubanks said. "I was fighting very vociferously to get it run, saying, 'It's news; we're a news outlet.' And the point I wanted to make — if she had said exactly the opposite, I still would have fought to put it in."

The piece was supposed to run the morning of the first day of the Women's Open at Pebble Beach, he stated.

"Several back-and-forth phone calls took place on this, and finally, the editor in chief called and said, 'The only way we will run this piece is if we take out the abortion and the Christian stuff,'" Eubanks continued. "That last line did it for me."

After working at Global Golf Post since its launch 12 years ago, Eubanks "resigned on the spot."

He noted that he would have understood pulling the story if the outlet had decided that the topic was too political for a sports publication.

"I would have fought like the devil to get it in, but it wouldn't have been that big a deal," Eubanks explained. "The last line showed me that not only were they anti-news, but they were decidedly anti-Christian. And I just couldn't accept that."

Eubanks' interview with Olson never ran.

When contacted for a comment, Global Golf Post's executive editor referred TheBlaze to the outlet's founder and publisher, Jim Nugent. Nugent did not respond to a request for comment.

It doesn't end there

While Olson was competing at the U.S. Women's Open in early July, a writer with USA Today's Golfweek picked up the story, Eubanks said.

The writer planned to publish a piece about "the interview that never ran," he stated. Eubanks noted that Golfweek "spoke to Amy about what she'd said and interviewed me about my decision to resign." To his knowledge, Golfweek's article was written up and approved by its editorial team but was subsequently killed by editors at USA Today.

Eubanks and Olson told TheBlaze that Golfweek did not reach out to tell them why the story was not published.

Neither Golfweek nor USA Today responded to multiple requests for comment.

It is unclear why the story never ran.

Olson: 'I lived through the outrage and also the celebration'

Olson told TheBlaze that she was excited for her interview to be published in Global Golf Post, noting that it was "an opportunity to share something about two experiences that I'd lived through."

"Here's been my experience in two major championships one year apart," Olson stated. "One of them was complete outrage that a baby could have value while it's still inside its mother's womb. And then my second experience was playing Pebble Beach while seven months pregnant and the world celebrating the fact that there's a life inside of me. And I lived through both of those. I lived through the outrage and also the celebration."

"I wanted to comment on the irony of that," she added.

Olson noted that Eubanks was not looking for her to comment on the topic but that she had brought it up herself while "trying to process the world that we're living in right now" and was "shocked" when the story never ran.

"Then I think when I took a step back, I wasn't quite as surprised when I thought about it a little bit more," Olson remarked regarding the interview that was not published in Global Golf Post. "One of the things that stood out to me the most was just the fact that they had asked Steve to remove some of my specific comments, and then they would publish. And that is such a lack of journalistic integrity to remove certain aspects of a conversation, especially when it's provided in transcript form."

Olson was optimistic that her story would finally run when Golfweek reached out to her because she had always had positive experiences with that outlet in the past. She explained that when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the outlet had contacted her to share her opinion on the decision.

"There were other opinions shared because the article was basically just LPGA players' reactions to Roe v. Wade being overturned," she told TheBlaze. "To Golfweek's credit, they had published comments of a conservative nature in the past, so honestly, I was really optimistic that they really wanted to get to the bottom of this and figure out why that other article got stopped."

According to Olson, the day the Golfweek article was supposed to be published, it never ran.

"I didn't fully understand why it didn't get published," Olson said regarding the Golfweek piece. "They didn't know if it was because of my comments being Christian or conservative. They didn't know if that was why it had gotten killed, and so they didn't want to go forward with it being published. To me, it was a bit of a cop-out answer instead of really trying to get to the bottom of it."

In the 10 years Olson has been playing professionally, she has never participated in an interview that did not get published, she noted.

"This is such an important issue," Olson continued. "Not even necessarily the comments that I specifically made in the original article, but the fact that certain viewpoints are being censored. And it just makes me wonder, what other viewpoints are being censored?"

"I honestly just wanted to talk about my experience and make that public," she added. "That was my intention and hope for people to be able to hear my two experiences that I'd lived through."

The state of the media

Eubanks told TheBlaze that he has witnessed the political bias in the media become considerably worse, particularly within the last six to seven years.

He remarked that journalism is in a "sad state of affairs" and that he is "heartbroken to be in this position."

"I don't want this to sound like I'm trying to throw anybody under the bus or that I'm coming across as in any way bitter — I'm not," he continued. "It's just gotten to the point where the people who are in charge of these things don't want to make waves. You have staffers who are going ballistic and who are kind of running the show. And so, you have an editor in chief and publisher who are saying — 'Do I just let this story go or do I fight this battle with my staff going nuts?'"

Editorial teams at various media outlets are caving under the pressure from staffers to drop stories that go against the accepted narrative, Eubanks explained.

"Anyone who does not toe the left-leaning line now is shunned," he added. "A lot of news that really should be out there is completely ignored because people have an agenda that they want to have out."

Eubanks stated that many legacy media outlets have become "fan sites for their subscriber base" that provide viewers with "affirmation for their existing beliefs."

"In sports, at least, which is my area of expertise, the leagues themselves are actually providing the most insightful and accurate coverage," he said. "At the LPGA sites, the features and event coverage are the best in the business. The same is true for PGA.com and PGA magazine. Even sites like MLB.com get it right more often than the independent outlets ostensibly covering the sport."

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