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49ers safety will officially change name from Donte Whitner to Donte Hitner

  • San Francisco 49ers safety Donte Whitner, top, intercepts a pass as St. Louis Rams wide receiver Brian Quick, bottom, defends as Whitner falls into the end zone for a touchback during the second quarter of an NFL football game Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

SANTA CLARA — Meet Mr. Hitner.

Called by that name for years out of respect for his hard-hitting defense, San Francisco safety Donte Whitner has filed paperwork in Ohio through his lawyer to formally change his name by removing the 'W' — after receiving permission from his mother, Deborah, to do so.

"My last name was Whitner, now it's Hitner," Whitner said Wednesday. "Yeah, it's legal, I'm taking the 'W' off. I asked my mom first, though. She said no in the summer, then she said yes three nights ago. It's pretty cool."<QA>

Whitner has been in touch with Nike to determine how many No. 31 Whitner jerseys are still for sale in retail stores and elsewhere and whether he might need to financially contribute to make the switch.

He doesn't seem overly concerned about that small part of the process.


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