Chad Johnson may have said buh-bye to the NFL two years ago, but the spirit of Chad Ochocinco still lives on thanks to San Francisco 49ers hard hitting safety Donte Whitner. After being fined $21,000 for a blow he delivered to Chris Givens in last Thursday’s night game against the St. Louis Rams, Whitner decided to take a page from the Ochocinco playbook by filing for a name change with NFL officials this week.
In an act of protest against the leagues crackdown on big hits, Whitner has decided to change his name to a more fitting Donte ‘Hitner’ – get it? Hit-ner. The 49ers’ safety has been critical of the NFL’s recent protocol towards issuing fines for bone crushing hits and has suggested the use of replay to determine if the – in the heat of the moment – shots even warrant a penalty to begin with. Whitner says his name change is a way to protest against the league’s current policies ‘the right way.’
Apparently, Whitner had been considering the name change for some time, but he initially refrained from making the switch because his mother wasn’t having it. But after some careful consideration following his fine this past weekend, the eighth-year safety said he was finally ready to ‘Hitner’ [his mother] with the news.