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49ers safety Donte Whitner changing his last name to Hitner

October 03, 2013|By Sam Farmer
  • San Francisco 49ers safety Donte Whitner, top, intercepts a pass intended for St. Louis Rams wide receiver Brian Quick on Sept. 26.
San Francisco 49ers safety Donte Whitner, top, intercepts a pass intended… (Charlie Riedel / Associated…)

As an NFL safety, Donte Whitner has spent his career trying to collect Ws.

Now, he’s dropping his own W.

The San Francisco 49ers standout said he’s legally dropping the W from his last name and will go by the name Donte Hitner.

“I actually put the paperwork in yesterday afternoon. Just waiting to get the paperwork out,” said (W)hitner, who was fined $21,000 by the league for an illegal hit in a Week 4 victory over St. Louis. “So from here on out until I retire, my name will be Donte Hitner, without the W.”

Whitner reminded reporters who cover the 49ers that many fans already refer to him as Hitner.

“That's what I do,” he said. “It's my last name and removing a letter makes it pretty cool.”

His wallet could take the biggest hit. According to ESPN's Darren Rovell, NFL rules stipulate that if a player changes his name during an NFL season, he is required to purchase all the remaining inventory of merchandise with the old name that hasn't been sold.

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