Though some Turlockers were thrilled with the City of Turlock’s decision to proclaim this weekend 'Go Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers Weekend,' others have said that the official proclamation may be a bit “excessive.”
“Truthfully it isn’t just the idea of a Colin Kaepernick day that bothers me, but a continually narrow-minded view of what young people in Turlock need,” said Turlock resident Mike Van Dyck. “The kids who play football have plenty to do, with practices, games, pizza nights, etc. But what about those in the area who aspire to do more than play sports?
“What is there in Turlock to nurture the creativity of youth? What about the kids who don’t fit into the typical demographic of small town life and aren’t interested in football. Don’t those kids deserve something to look forward to in Turlock?”
Van Dyck also said that he believes the City Council should be focusing on more pertinent issues, rather than spending time naming a day after Kaepernick.
“When I say that the City Council has more important work than declaring ‘Colin Kaepernick Day,’ what I mean is that the majority of youth in Turlock have been ignored for years,” he continued. “While people argue that Turlock needs a role model like Kaepernick, I would only argue that it needs more than a one-in-a-million shot at living out their hopes and dreams.”
“The City Council should be spending their time trying to figure out how the community should invest in their children so that overall there are more resources available to build a well-rounded community.”
Others contacted by TurlockCityNews.com agreed with Van Dyck, taking issue with glorification of football and its stars.
“I believe one of the problems with our society is that we remember the names and jersey numbers of our favorite players,” said Kyle Snook, a local U.S. Marine. “If I ask the typical American who the President Pro Tempore of the United States Senate is, I will get a dumbfounded look. But if I ask who Kaepernick is, I’m sure I will hear an earful of their time at Pitman with him, and all of his NFL statistics.
“I’m not saying we need to forsake games, sports, and fun. Not by any means. I’m saying that the level on which we glorify people like Kaepernick, is sickening when you stop and think of all the things we are neglecting,” continued Snook. “So we should have our fun, watch the game, and bask in our team’s glory for a minute. But when we start idolizing these people and start paying them millions of dollars to catch a ball, I believe we have a problem.”
But while many Turlockers have articulated similar thoughts, the majority of the community seems to find it important that the City of Turlock show support for the young, successful NFL quarterback.
“I think it’s important for him to know people are supporting him,” said Turlock resident Titus Briseno. “You always want to make your hometown proud, so I imagine the support would be important for him. I also think it’s important, though, just as a City, to come together and show support. How often is it for a town like Turlock to have someone playing on such a big stage?”
Briseno also shared that while the support is most likely a “self-esteem booster” for Kaepernick, he believes that Kaepernick is a person who “keeps his head down from the attention and stays humble,” based on the interviews that he has seen of Kaepernick on ESPN and other sports news sources.
“I mean, personally, I don’t know if I’d want a day named after me, I think that may be a bit excessive, but I’d definitely want their support,” continued Briseno. “And that’s why we need to let him know that everyone back here is rooting for him.”
Turlock Mayor John Lazar will officially proclaim this weekend ‘Go Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers Weekend’ at the ‘Turlock Believes’ Super Bowl Saturday Tailgate Party from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 2 in the Pitman High School parking lot.
The official proclamation states that Kaepernick has, “Distinguished himself not only as an outstanding athlete but as an outstanding example to all members of our community,” while commending his dedication, enthusiasm, hard work, teamwork, respect, and leadership.
As part of the weekend celebration, the San Francisco 49ers flag will fly above Turlock City Hall.
For more information regarding the tailgate event, visit www.turlockedfoundation.org/turlockbelieves.