It’s not quite official yet, but the process has begun for San Francisco 49ers’ safety Donte Whiter to legally change his last name to “Hitner”.
According to a report from Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News, Whitner has filed a request in his homeland of Ohio to officially change the name. If approved, we could see Mr. Hitner sporting his new jersey as early as November 25th.
Whiter, I mean Hitner, prides himself on his hard hitting ability – obviously if he has come to this point – and it hasn’t gone unnoticed by the NFL. The safety was fined $21,000 earlier this season after the 49ers’ game against St. Louis for hitting WR Chris Givens, allegedly leading with his head.
49ers’ defensive coordinator Vic Fangio didn’t agree with the fine.
“The angles I’ve seen so far, it looked like a good play,” Fangio said, as reported by Matt Maiocco at CSN Bay Area. “He did not lead with his head. It looked to me like he jolted the guy pretty good in his shoulder with his shoulder. And the guy’s head snapped (back) because of the impact of the hit, which made it look like an illegal hit. So they threw the flag.”
Well, if Whitner and Fangio didn’t like the attention the NFL was bestowing upon the safety before, he will now literally have a target emblazoned on his back.
Here is the motion Whitner filed, provided by TMZ.com, and some text from the motion:
“The requested name change will be beneficial to applicant’s career as a professional football player and in other business ventures further, the requested name does not involve potential for fraud, will not interfere with the rights of others, will not permit the applicant to avoid legal duty, and is not contrary to the public policy of this state.”
As for Whitner, he seems fairly excited about the possibility.
“I think it’s pretty cool,” Whitner said according to Inman, last Wednesday. “Everything we do is for the fans. It’s all entertainment. But at the same time, that’s what I do, it’s my game.”