If there is an overriding theme from football fans in Turlock about Colin Kaepernick’s record-breaking contract with the 49ers, announced on Wednesday, it’s this: Good for him.
The quarterback signed a reported six-year, $126 million deal with the San Francisco 49ers, and people in his hometown were happy about the news.
“That is awesome,” said Turlock’s Tony Walker, owner of 10 East Kitchen and Tap House in downtown Turlock. “When we have the game on here this place is packed in with fans. He’s a wonderful football player and a tremendous person. He represents Turlock well.”
Walker said Kaepernick’s success with the 49ers “helped put Turlock on the map.”
So he’s happy to see the former Pitman High and University of Nevada quarterback land the NFL’s latest mega contract.
“He certainly deserves it,” said Walker, a longtime 49ers fan. “It’s not only great for him, but for his community, too.”
Crystal Peral of Turlock is a diehard Raiders fan. The born-and-raised Turlocker, however, doesn’t begrudge Kaepernick for being the rival 49ers’ quarterback.
“I’m a Raiders fan, but I give him his props; he deserves it,” she said while at Mainstreet Footers in downtown Turlock. “He’s working hard for his goals. He’s a down-to-earth kid, and I’m proud that he’s from Turlock.”
Comments on The Bee’s Facebook post about Kaepernick’s big contract were mixed, with some supporting the 49ers’ decision to pay the quarterback big money while others claimed he’s not worth it.
Compared to other NFL mega-deals, the 49ers paid the going rate for an elite quarterback in the NFL. Now, Kaepernick will have to prove he’s among the top players at the game’s most important position.
Is he worth it?
“Sure he is,” said Walker.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a bigger fan of Kaepernick’s in the Central Valley than Kimberlie Gamino, who runs Camp Taylor, a local charitable camp for children with heart disease and their families.
Kaepernick has been a big supporter of Camp Taylor in recent years.
“I’m thrilled that they’re going to pay him what's he's earned and what he deserves,” Gamino said. “He’s earned this salary.”
Gamino said Kaepernick will be at Del Rio Country Club on June 16 for the 2nd annual Camp Taylor and Colin Kaepernick “Against All Odds” Golf Tournament. The fundraising event has been sold out, Gamino said.
“We’re thankful that he loves our heart kids,” Gamino said. “We are able to reach more kids with his help.”