Whitner says he’s changing his name


49ers safety Donte Whitner was fined $21,000 for a Thursday night hit, and he’s not happy about it.

He’s sufficiently unhappy about it to protest the fine by launching a collection of four T-shirts bearing the message “#LegalHitner.”

(At $28 per shirt, here’s hoping it comes with a bowl of soup.  Or a three-pound lobster.)

Now, Whitner has gotten so caught up in the movement that he is changing his name to, yes, Hitner.  (At least his new name doesn’t look and sound like the name of one of the most hated and despicable men who ever lived.  Oh, wait.)

Whitner has announced on his Twitter page that, after getting permission from his mother, Whitner officially has dropped the “W” in his name.

We’re not sure that a name can legally be changed that easily.  Or that quickly.  Or that the NFL will be willing to allow him to change the name plate on his jersey as of Sunday night to “Hitner” unless and until he purchases at wholesale cost all unsold Nike jerseys bearing his number and former name.

Lost in all of this is that the fine was proper.  Whitner applied a forearm to the head of a defenseless player.  Instead of changing his name, maybe he should adapt his style of play to what the NFL currently allows.