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NFL Star Donte Whitner

Gotta Pay NIKE

Before He Can Change Jersey to 'Hitner'

10/4/2013 12:20 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

1003-donte-whitner-49ers-getty
Before 49ers safety Donte Whitner can officially sport a "Hitner" jersey on the field, he's REQUIRED to get Nike's blessing ... and it could cost the player a ton of money.

By now you know, Whitner's vowed to legally change his name to Hitner after the NFL fined him $21k for an illegal hit on a St. Louis Rams player earlier this season.

But it's not gonna happen for AT LEAST another month, because the NFL requires players to legally change their name before they can change their jersey. And in Donte's home state of Ohio ... an applicant has to publish a notice of the name change in a widely circulated publication at least 30 days before a judge will even consider signing off on the move.

Court officials in Ohio tell us the process usually takes AT LEAST six weeks from start to finish.

Then, there's the Nike factor -- an NFL rep tells TMZ before the league will allow a player to change the name on his jersey, he has to purchase any remaining Nike inventory featuring his old name.

But whatever the cost, Donte can probably afford it -- he's reportedly raking in $3.8 million this season.

So, if all goes according to plan, you could see a Hitner jersey on Nov. 17 ... when the 49ers play the Saints.

Stay tuned ...

For more sports stories, check out tmzsports.com!
19 COMMENTS

No Avatar

1.

Dead account Delete at will    

What a ignorant dope. I hope he does it and fcuks up the paperwork and renames himself Hitler.

364 days ago
2.

EnquirerLover    

I don't get it? Is this new name a ode to Hitler? Wtf? Get real. It's sounds dumb. And people are going to target you. Terrible marketing ploy. Watch this one back fire badly!

364 days ago
3.

Mihalick    

Heil Hitner! What a moron. I think this dude banged his head one too many times.

363 days ago
4.

SassyLassie    

Niners didn't play the Buffalo Bills this year. Nice reporting. Try again

363 days ago
5.

Truth    

WASNT HARVEY HIRING A NEW TMZ SPORTS GUY??? APPEARS THE NEW DUDE IS A TOTAL IDIOT. NINERS NEVER PLAYED THE BILLS PRE-SEASON OR REGULAR SEASON 2013. #EPICFAIL #TRUTH!!

363 days ago
6.

Johnny Carcinoma    

What a moron.

363 days ago
7.

Truth    

HARVEY, TELL GAY MAX TO WAKE THE F*CK UP... WHITNER HIT CHRIS GIVENS OF THE RAMS IN LAST WEEK'S GAME SCORING A $21K FINE. OOPS, FORGOT... MAX WAS FIRED FOR DOING DRUGS. #TRUTH!!

363 days ago
8.

FlamingoNut    

Whitner wants to change his name to HITner, because he thinks he's a freight train. Because he was fined for an illegal HIT. I hope someone blasts this dork 10 yards

363 days ago
9.

NOT ELMO    

she needs some make up....

363 days ago
10.

cindy    

Why would he want the name Hitner? Sounds too much like Hitler.

363 days ago
11.

Mr. Pukey    

Yet another overpaid and over hyped future bankruptcy case and inmate # xxxxxxx

363 days ago
12.

STW    

It's not that bad. Pretty dumb to change his name but more power to him. right?

363 days ago
13.

Vote2012    

The NFL and most college teams have become slaves to Nike, Nike has taken over the NFL from within. I would never wear a pair of their cheap overpriced Chinese made shoes on my feet. The NFL could not survive without Nikes money.

360 days ago
14.

brian b    

since when is "gotta" in a media journalist vocab ? And I don't think you articulated why Whitner would have to pay Nike. Not because Nike sponsors him but because Nike produces the right to NFL jerseys and they spent a lot of coin to produce WHITNER jerseys. Changing the names to "HITNER" would produce a loss, and Nike is not in the business of losing money...HITNER will have to pay the loss.

360 days ago
15.

aoerkataimilly    

Mister George younger, 6th Baronet(Launched 1941), Country old-fashioned social cheap 49ers jerseys gathering politician George Kennedy juvenile(Established 1911), Mediterranean intellect expert and so rightwing politician George meters., The first kind gambling this post is about the recent nfl sports myhomepage cluster.

350 days ago

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