Whitner couldn't change name to 'Hitner' until mom gave approval
“If you ask fans around San Francisco and the Bay Area, they call me Donte Hitner anyway.” (AP)
Donte Whitner could legally become Hitner by the end of the day.
A name change hearing for the 49ers’ Pro Bowl safety will be held on Tuesday at 2:45 p.m. (ET) in front of Judge Laura J. Gallagher at Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Probate Court in Cleveland. The hearing is scheduled to last 15 minutes.
Whitner filed the paperwork and a $130 fee to have his name legally changed on Oct. 8 – more than a week after he was called for a controversial penalty for striking a defenseless player.
Whitner broke up a potential late-game touchdown pass with a hit against St. Louis Rams wide receriver Chris Givens in the end zone on Sept. 26 in a game the 49ers won 35-11. The NFL also fined Whitner $21,000 for unnecessary roughness.
Whitner said he got permission to change his name from his mother, Deborah Robinson, who plans to change her name back to her maiden name of Whitner, Donte said.
In explaining his reasoning for removing the “W” from his surname, Whitner said he is ultimately giving the fans what they want.
“If you ask fans around San Francisco and the Bay Area, they call me Donte Hitner anyway,” Whitner said on Oct. 2. “I think it’s pretty cool. Everything we do is for the fans, right? We all understand that. It’s entertainment, but at the same time it’s what I do. It’s my game, along with some things that happened recently, that’s why I went with it.”