San Francisco 49ers safety Donte Whitner wants to be known going forward as "Hitner."

The hard-hitting safety who was fined $21,000 this week by the NFL for a hit against the St. Louis Rams says he's formally changing his name.

"I actually put the paperwork in, just waiting to get the paperwork out," Whitner said during a conference call. "So from here on out until I retire, my name will be Donte Hitner, without the W."

Whitner wants it changed on his uniform in time for Sunday's game.

"That's what I do. It's my last name and removing a letter makes it pretty cool," Whitner said.

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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.