Donte Whitner confirmed what he said on Twitter that his last name will be changed to "Hitner" on Wednesday afternoon. He had to receive permission from his mother to change his name and he said that she allowed it on Sunday.
Whitner said his inspiration from this change was his actions on the field speaking for himself. It was an idea that began last summer, where his mother initially said no. He said fans have already called him by the nickname of "Hitner." prior to this season.
"If you ask fans around San Francisco and Bay Area, they already call me Donte Hitner," Whitner said. "Everything we do is for the fans. It's entertainment. Along with things that happened recently, that's why I went for me. In the NFL, my name coincides with what [I] like to do on the football field."
The 49ers Pro Bowl safety filed the paperwork earlier this week and sent it to his lawyer which is based out of Ohio. He is hoping to have the process finished as early for Sunday's game, but it looks doubtful to be an immediate change.
Recently, Whitner has been known for hitting players from Pierre Thomas in the NFC Divisional Playoffs two years ago to hitting WR Chris Givens on Thursday. He was fined $21,000 this week for the hit on Givens.
Several athletes have changed their names in sports, from Ron Artest changing his full name to Metta World Peace and Chad Johnson becoming Chad Ochocinco before reverting to his original name. Whitner said it is only removing one letter which is cool and said making more changes would be over kill.
"One word is not as big as ten words," Whitner said. "For $27 and removing a letter off your name, it is worth it."
When Patrick Willis and Colin Kaepernick were asked about his Whitner's name change, both players said it fits him well.