When professional golfer Amy Olson took the challenging greens of Pebble Beach for the 2023 U.S. Women’s Open, she was already creating headlines. Not only was she competing at one of the golf world’s premier events, but she was also doing so while seven months pregnant.
Olson’s story had all the ingredients for a feel-good piece that many media outlets would eagerly pursue. As she noted, this experience gave her a “renewed faith in humanity,” with many seeming to celebrate the life she carried.
However, when Olson touched upon the first anniversary of the overturning of Roe v. Wade, highlighting the marked difference in public sentiment toward unborn lives, her story took an unexpected turn.
"The irony is not lost on me that, 1 year ago, when Roe v. Wade was overturned, women from around the world, even on tour, were outraged. Now, a year later, people are celebrating that I'm going 2B playing a major championship with an unborn child that they recognize as a life." https://t.co/V26enTqAnq
— Heather O'Brien Pronouns: Told/You/So 🐰 #🟦 (@Heat005498) August 19, 2023
According to Steve Eubanks, a former senior writer at Global Golf Post, the publication chose not to run his story on Olson because of her Christian and pro-life insights. Eubanks claims that after significant internal discussion and pushback, the editor-in-chief stipulated the removal of any mention of “abortion and the Christian stuff” for the story to see the light of day. Not willing to compromise, Eubanks resigned after a 12-year tenure with the outlet.
Such decisions are alarming signs for many who believe in freedom of speech and journalistic integrity. Olson expressed shock and disappointment, stating, “I was, No. 1, very shocked that it didn’t run.” However, she also lauded Eubanks for his dedication to a journalist’s true calling — to tell the story as it is, without unnecessary filters or edits.
Even more perplexing is that USA Today Golfweek seemed ready to pick up the story, diving into “the interview that never ran.” Both Eubanks and Olson were interviewed, yet that story also never saw the day’s light. This repeated pattern brings concerns about modern media gatekeeping to the forefront, especially considering that Golfweek had previously presented balanced coverage of the Roe v. Wade debate.
For those familiar with the evolving media landscape, the sidelining of Olson’s story might not be surprising. Still, it’s a concerning trajectory for conservative voices and those championing free speech and open dialogue. If the very ethos of journalism — presenting diverse perspectives and allowing readers to draw their conclusions — is compromised, it could herald a troubling trend.
However, Olson remains hopeful, expressing her desire to inspire others. “I would love to see people being more comfortable sharing,” Olson said, emphasizing the importance of open dialogue even amid disagreements.
As Olson now takes maternity leave, her experience underscores the pressing need for objective journalism and the challenges conservative voices face in mainstream media. In a world filled with diverging opinions, the media’s role should be to ensure that all voices, irrespective of their beliefs, are heard. As Olson aptly puts it, conversations, even with those who disagree, are essential, and we should never fear that.