TURLOCK (CBS13) – Colin Kaepernick is Turlock’s touchdown machine, and now the city is getting ready to announce a Kaepernick proclamation; but that’s created a surprising rift between some citizens.
If Turlock is Kaepernick country, then the It’ll Grow Back Barber Shop is the capitol. The quarterback’s jersey hangs next to other 49ers legends, but not everyone in Turlock is going as crazy for the rising star.
“I think it’s pretty neat. Something like this hasn’t happened in a long time,” said barber shop owner Ruben Hernandez.
Now the city is celebrating their homegrown sports star with an official declaration.
“I’ll be making a proclamation Saturday at a rally, honoring Colin Kaepernick, 49ers Day for the city,” said Turlock Mayor John Lazar.
Amidst the celebration, there are some in Turlock that are calling for civic restraint.
“I don’t think it’s a wise idea,” said Ron Detwiler. “Just say ‘hey you did a good job.’ “
Detwiller is a Harley owner who’s among a small chorus of critics saying the city is wasting time with official Kaepernick praise.
“There’s more priorities in town that need to be taken care of before we go overboard on something like this,” Chris Waller said.
You could call them Kaepernick-craze buzz killers.
“I’m proud of the guy. I just think Turlock’s putting their priorities in the wrong order,” said Detwiller.
It’s not a popular perspective in the small city, where Kaepernick grew up and played high school football.
He is suddenly becoming a national celebrity, bringing the city of Turlock new attention.
“I’m here to tell you, win, lose or draw, we’re going to ask him to come down here; and were going to honor him in person. So, we look forward to that,” said Lazar.
It’s Turlock civic pride with a pinch of opposition.
“We should honor him. We should get him some recognition. When is the last time something has happened in Turlock?” said Hernandez.
Turlock’s official Kaepernick weekend will be honored by city officials on Saturday, the day before the local hero plays in the biggest game of his life.
The public is invited to Saturday’s ceremony from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at his alma mater, Pitman High School.