Some say Turlock's 'hometown hero' Colin Kaepernick no longer welcome after Nike deal, anthem protests

Byby Leslie Brinkley KGO logo
Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Some say Turlock's 'hometown hero' Kaepernick is no longer welcome
EMBED <>More Videos

Colin Kaepernick's hometown of Turlock may be turning on him, with residents saying that the day the former 49er took a knee, things in town changed dramatically.

TURLOCK, Calif. (KGO) -- Colin Kaepernick's hometown may be turning on him, with residents saying that the day the former Niner took a knee, things in town changed dramatically.

Once upon a time before the 2013 Super Bowl, Colin Kaepernick was worshiped in Turlock. The local bakery cranked out cookies and restaurants named sandwiches and hot dogs after him. But things have cooled down. The sandwich and cookie honors have vaporized.

One resident having lunch with her daughter downtown said, "I don't think he's the hero he once was, the hometown hero."

TIMELINE: Looking back at Colin Kaepernick's transformation from football star to social justice advocate

Here they say the day the football star started taking a knee during the national anthem, August 14, 2016, is the day the wind shifted in Turlock.

"He was our favorite son kind of thing then all of a sudden with the kneeling a lot of conservative people in the valley decided they didn't like that kind of thing and turned their head on Mr. Kaepernick," Pat Mandas said.

Turlock resident Becky Getty added, "It just seems like everyone was behind him and now it's just a big let down. I'm embarrassed for him."

Steve Rehberg said, "He caused a lot of trouble. That's the U.S. flag, that's what a lot of men fought in the wars and died for. "

RELATED: Colin Kaepernick featured in new 'Just Do It' ad campaign for Nike

Some said they wish Kaepernick would come home and face the people in Turlock, although they admit with the level of animosity right now he might not be welcome.

"He'd get the cold shoulder. there wouldn't be a lot of people running up to him for an autograph," Mandas said.

VIDEO: Kaepernick billboard hangs high above SF's Nike store

One restaurant still had a Kaepernick jersey up on its wall but they declined an interview.

Turlock resident Kyle Brown admitted the backlash is strong in this area but said personally, "I still have my love for him and I'll be honest I never liked him as a football player but now he's so much more than football, I definitely had to take notice, I had to take notice."

Still it appears to be a hard sell in Turlock for the new face of Nike.

Get the latest on former 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick here.