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Warriors rock Rosie the Riveter logo in honor of Women’s History Month

The logo appeared briefly as Golden State’s Twitter profile pic. Throughout the month of March, the team also profiled women who are important to the organization.

Golden State Warriors, via Twitter.

The Golden State Warriors celebrated Women’s History Month by featuring a Rosie the Riveter logo on Twitter along with profiles on its official website of women who are important to the team’s success. Here’s a belated shout-out to the women of the Warriors who help to keep the team ticking, a look at the impact of Rosie the Riveter on U.S. history, and a word about what the Warriors got right about the logo.

Warrior women you should know

As the old adage goes, behind every man’s success stands a good woman, and this is certainly true of the Warriors’ organization. Mostly operating from behind-the-scenes, the following women perform key duties for the franchise. Here’s a look at who they are and why they deserve a bit of the spotlight:

Jennifer Cabalquinto, Chief Financial Officer

Basketball is a numbers game, and not just in terms of wins and losses. Professional ball is a money-making operation the requires someone with wicked financial smarts at the helm. For the Warriors, that person is Jennifer Cabalquinto, who oversees the day-to-day financial operations of the organization and develops long-term financial strategies. With more than 20 years in financial leadership positions, Cabalquinto joined the Warriors following a five-year stint at Universal Studios, Hollywood.

Erika Glazer, Executive Board Member

Glazer is the only woman on the Warriors’ executive board of seven. A noted philanthropist, Glazer operates the Erika J. Glazer Family Foundation in Beverly Hills through which she has worked to support immigrant students. Glazer recently gifted $1.6 million to California State University-Los Angeles to create “a resource center for the school’s DREAMer students,” with funds directed towards “maintain[ing] a dedicated space to provide academic advising services, referral assistance, and other types of support for undocumented students.”

Gale Hunter, VP, Public Affairs, Community Relations & Event Management

A member of SportsBusiness Journal’s 2014 class of “Game Changers: Women in Sports Business,” Gale Hunter has played an integral role in managing community relations around the building of the new arena, “develop[ing] of the community engagement strategy and dealing with the outreach within the community.” She claims the best decision she ever made was leaving her law practice to work in sports. Hunter now has a 15-year track record with the NBA and WNBA.

Chelsea Lane, Physical Performance & Sports Medicine

Referred to by the team as “a vital part of every game,” Chelsea Lane should be immediately recognizable to any Warriors’ fan. Usually the only woman on the sideline, Lane performs the important task of keeping players in peak physical condition and coaching them towards safe athletic movement. If a player gets injured, Lane is the one who draws up a therapy plan, which her staff then integrates in the weight room, during practice, and while providing physical therapy treatments to the athlete. Lane, an Aussie who previously worked with Olympic athletes, has 17 years of experience as a sports physiotherapist.

Two other women who are important to the Warriors’ success are Nanea McGuigan, Director, Basketball Administration and Player Programs, and Chloe Walkup, Assistant, Basketball Operations.

Coming up roses for Rosie the Riveter

Norman Rockwell, best known for his paintings of American life, invited 19-year-old telephone operator Mary Doyle Keefe to sit as a model for a painting, in 1942. At a petite 110-pounds, Keefe was undoubtedly alarmed by the image that ended up on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post — a large, brawny version of herself, renamed Rosie.

Normal Rockwell / Saturday Evening Post.

Rockwell later called Keefe to apologize for making her so large, but his point was clear. Women were doing big things to keep the U.S. workforce ticking in the early- to mid-1940s. An increasing number of men shipped off to fight in World War II, leaving behind a depleted workforce. To keep the economy — and the war machine — moving, women entered the labor force in droves.

But Rockwell did not stop there in using his art to make a statement. He painted an image of a squashed copy of Adolf Hitler’s anti-Semitic and racist manifesto, Mein Kampf, beneath Rosie’s penny loafer (which had not been present during Mary Doyle Keefe’s sitting for the painting). With such a drastic statement against Nazi Germany on full display, it was not long before the U.S. government was using the image as propaganda to recruit women into the workforce.

By 1943, “[m]ore than 310,000 women worked in the U.S. aircraft industry ... making up 65 percent of the industry’s total workforce (compared to just 1 percent in the pre-war years).” Women also had a dominant presence in munitions factories, and made inroads into the military. At the urging of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, approximately “350,000 women joined the Armed Services, serving at home and abroad.”

Even lesser known in the annals of U.S. history is the contribution of women to the U.S. Air Force, via formation of the Women’s Air Force Service Pilots, or WASPs, during World War II. Women who made up this unit were the first to fly American military aircraft, “ferry[ing] planes from factories to bases, transporting cargo and participating in simulation strafing and target missions, accumulating more than 60 million miles in flight distances and freeing thousands of male U.S. pilots for active duty in World War II.”

More than 1,000 WASPs served during World War II, and 38 of them lost their lives. In keeping with the sad theme of gender inequality throughout the course of U.S. history, these “Wartime Rosies” were not given due respect or compensation for their service. They performed these life-or-death missions as civil servants, without the benefit of official military status. This means they died without military honors or benefits, never recognized for their heroic service to this country.

Celebrate women every day

By the look of the Warriors’ Rosie, 2017 edition, the mandate to “celebrate women every day” means all women. The team had the foresight to know that a Rosie representing the most dominant team in basketball — in one of the most diverse cities of the world — needed to be inclusive. Thus, we have a Rosie whose complexion and facial features could put her in any ethnic category, making her an all-inclusive Rosie for the 21st century, representing all women. (Thankfully, the graphic designers saw fit to generate a more proportional depiction of the female form, but still with killer biceps.)

So, why do women need to be celebrated — and, every day, no less?

Because your basketball idols say so! (But, also, because of this.)

For Bay Area residents keen to learn more about the feminist icon that is Rosie the Riveter, visit the Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front Museum, in Richmond.

Follow Tamryn Spruill on Twitter

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