Donte Whitner delays name change

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Donte Whitner is keeping his name for now.

The San Francisco 49ers' hard-hitting safety withdrew his application to legally change his last name to "Hitner," according to a spokeswoman at the Cuyahoga (Ohio) County Probate Court.

A judge there was supposed to hear the request and make a decision Tuesday. But earlier in the day, the request was withdrawn.

However, Whitner tweeted Tuesday afternoon that he had to withdraw the request because the judge requires him to be present. He said he will do it in the offseason.

Whitner said in early October that his attorney had filed the paperwork. The proposed name change was a statement by the safety. It came a week after he was penalized for a questionable hit at St. Louis. He was fined $21,000, but he later said he never received the fine after he appealed it.

"Everything we do is for the fans. It's all entertainment," Whitner said last month. "But at the same time, that's what I do, it's my game. Along with some things that have happened recently."

He tweeted Monday that he wants to talk to media members Wednesday.