49ers' Whitner changing name to Hitner

49ers' Whitner changing name to Hitner
October 2, 2013, 3:45 pm
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(USA Today Images)

Donte Whitner is protesting his $21,000 fine. Well, actually, the protest is from Donte Hitner.

The 49ers’ safety, who was fined for his hit on Chris Givens in Thursday’s win, has decided to change his last name from Whitner to Hitner. He filed the paperwork on Tuesday.

“I thought about it in the offseason,” Whitner said in a conference call with Houston reporters. The Texans will play the Niners in San Francisco on Sunday. “I asked my mom. She said no. I’m forever going to be her son and her little boy so I have to listen to what she says. After all of these hits and people talking about it, I asked her again three nights ago. She said I don’t have a problem with it, go ahead. So I went ahead and did it yesterday.”

Whitner is also appealing his fine and doesn’t think he did anything wrong. Whitner said this was his first personal foul he’s ever had, which is surprising because Whitner is known for being a hard hitter. He wants to prove that hard-hitting safeties aren’t facing extinction in today’s NFL, as long as they hit the right way.

“I don’t want to be wrong in what I’m doing. It’s a protest the right way,” he said of his name change. “I’m not out there head hunting, hitting guys helmet to helmet. I want to show guys can hit hard and bring fear doing it the legal way. This is a tough game. This is a game for grown men. When we signed up for that, we all know that. If you don’t want to play football, you don’t want to be physical, you don’t want to be hit, don’t come around guys that like to hit. That’s the game of football. Just do it the right way.”

The Texans have had their fair share of fines too. Cornerback Kareem Jackson was fined $42,000 earlier this season and Darryl Sharpton was fined for his horsecollar tackle on Sunday.

“I believe that they just have to understand the guys that do it right and the guys that do it wrong,” Whitner said when asked if hard-hitting safeties are going the way of the dinosaurs. “My job is to go out there and play as physical and fast as I possibly can and to do it the right way and to show youngsters all around the country that love the game of football and love the safety position how to it the legal way.”

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