UPDATED 3:32 p.m. 11/19/2013
Alas, he’s still Donte Whitner.
The San Francisco 49ers safety withdrew his petition to change his last name to “Hitner” from an Ohio court on Tuesday, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
The Cleveland native filed the petition to drop the “W” from his last name last month and a hearing to approve the petition was scheduled for today.
However, Whitner said via Twitter that the judge would not issue the name change with him not present for the hearing.
I had to withdraw the name change until after the season. Judge wouldn’t allow it without me being present…
— DonteHitner (@DonteWhitner) November 19, 2013
Whitner first expressed his desire to make the change last summer and voiced that wish after he was hit with unnecessary roughness flags in back-to-back games, including a hit that saved a touchdown against the St. Louis Rams, but cost the eighth-year pro a $21,000 fine.
“Everything we do is for the fans,” Whitner said last month. “But at the same time, that’s what I do, it’s my game. Along with some things that has happened recently.”
Whitner only filed the petition after speaking to his mother, who gave her approval.
Whitner is in his third season with the 49ers after spending the first five years of his career with the Buffalo Bills, who took him with the eighth overall pick out of Ohio State in 2006.
Whitner has four interceptions with the 49ers, one this season, and has defended 23 passes and made 151 tackles for San Francisco. He is scheduled to be a free agent at the end of the season.
Whitner was a Pro Bowl selection last season.
While the name change might have been fun, maybe opting out was the best idea.
The 49ers can use all the W’s they can get right now.