Posted October 06, 2013

Donte Whitner’s name change on hold due to government shutdown

NFC West, San Francisco 49ers
It might be a while before we officially see 'Donte Hitner.'

It might be a while before we officially see ‘Donte Hitner.’ (San Jose Mercury News/ MCT /LANDOV)

Now you’ve gone too far, United States government.

Last week, after receiving a $21K fine for a hit on St. Louis’ Chris Givens, 49ers safety Donte Whitner announced that he was officially dropping the “W” from his surname to become “Donte Hitner”. One problem …

Whitner’s reaction to that news:

As you can see there, Whitner already enacted the change on Twitter — though he’s sticking with the handle @DonteWhitner, his name now reads “DonteHitner.” He still seems set on following through with the legal swap, too, though who knows when he may be able to do so.

Whitner also faces a little hurdle before becoming Donte Hitner in the NFL’s eyes, too. Per league rules, if he wants his jersey to read “Hitner” before the 2014 season, he will be responsible for purchasing all of the league’s remaining apparel with his original name on it. The artist formerly known as Chad Ochocinco — now back to Chad Johnson — faced the same ultimatum when he swapped his name; Johnson opted to wait out the 2008 season before sporting “Ochocinco” on his ’09 jersey.


What a crock.  The federal government has nothing to do with name changes.  Those are handled solely by state courts, which are open for business.  Of course, In California the courts have been going part-time for years because of budget crunches, so maybe that's the hitch.  But it isn't the fed shutdown.


So, there is a purpose to the shutdown after all.