Earlier this week, San Francisco 49ers safety Donte Whitner announced he would be legally changing his name to Donte “Hitner”. That’s all fine and dandy, except Nike, which now licenses all NFL gear, gets a say in Whitner’s personal re-branding. Specifically, the corporation requires him to purchase all remaining inventory with his old name before they’ll approve any merchandise with his new moniker. Considering the name-changing process will take at least six weeks in Whitner’s home state of Ohio, you won’t be able to pick up your “Hitner” jersey anytime soon — that is, if Whitner feels like donating a hefty chunk of his $3.8 million salary to his own name-changing cause.
Of course, we don’t know how much Donte Whitner gear is out there, or was manufactured in the first place. But, if a player feels he’s worthy of name change (ala, Chad Ochocinco or Metta World Peace), then he probably has a fair amount of merchandise floating around. Either that, or he’s just that full of himself. Hmmm…we might go with the latter.