by Rick Boone

TURLOCK (CBS13) — We may see the return of Turlock native Colin Kaepernick to the NFL soon. The former 49er will be trying to show some NFL teams that he belongs back in the league on Saturday.

But will Kaep’s comeback be met with the same fevered-pitch support from his hometown? Folks in Turlock are on both sides of the issue on whether they still stand with hometown star, no matter his views.

Ask anyone in Turlock about Kaepernick and you’ll get an opinion pretty quickly.

“People in Turlock…they can’t stand him,” one man said.

“I love Kaepernick. I’ve known him since he was a little kid… he signed this huge jersey for me,” a fan said.

Kaepernick, a former football player at Pitman High, went on to play for the 49ers in 2011. Making it to the NFL, his fame exploded through town. Businesses hung his jersey and some restaurants named food after him.

But after he took a knee in 2016 during the National Anthem, Kaep’s fame flame dimmed in his hometown.

“What he stands up for, I’m all about that, but he has no business standing up for that…he was not about that back in the day,”‘ a Turlock resident said.

Kaepernick kneeled in protest over police actions involving people of color. Many in Turlock say they support his beliefs, but will never forget his actions of disrespecting the flag.

He’s now been out of the NFL for more than two years, his protest kept him unemployed. Now he’s headed to Atlanta to work out in front of 24 teams for a chance to have a comeback.

“I’m so happy he’s doing this. It’s about time for his return,” a fan said.

Nothing is certain about Colin Kaepernick’s future, but some in Turlock say he may never achieve the same stardom from years ago.

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