Donte Whitner: The Return of Hitner

I have always enjoyed trash talking in sports, Gary Payton, Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan and who could ever forget Reggie Miller’s infamous choke sign in Madison Square Garden towards Spike Lee. There’s an appeal when two arch rivals, who hold complete vitriol for one another, battle it out for sporting supremacy; my will against yours type of scenario. Good guy versus bad guy, the hated Celtics vs the Lakers, 9ers vs the Seahawks or “Broad Street Bullies” vs the Canadiens. The networks and advertisers love it and hell why not? The story lines sell themselves, LeBron James leaving Cleveland and taking his talents to South Beach and Poof! Jersey’s get burnt, fans spewing venom on your local news, the internet lights a blaze and Skip Bayless’ erroneous tweets enrages the meekest of fan. Social media is a fantastic tool to share ideas, making business contacts or even interact with your favorite sport team/player but when does bravado and team pride take a turn for the worst?

In the 2006 NFL Draft, Donte Whitner was drafted by the Buffalo Bills eighth overall out of The Ohio State University. Donte was known as a big hitter, fashioning his game after Hall of Fame safety Ronnie Lott. In that same year, he finished with 104 total tackles and one interception, an excellent start to a promising career, living up to his draft selection. After 5 seasons in Western New York, Donte signed with the 49ers, his aggressive style then followed him and in 2013, against the St. Louis Rams, Whitner was fined for a vicious hit on receiver Chris Givens. In typical Whitner response he boasted that he would be legally changing his last name from Whitner to 'Hitner'. My first thought was, “This boy done lost his mind!” but he won his appeal and avoided paying the 21k fine.

This past off season Donte signed with his hometown team, the Cleveland Browns and started getting at the former team that drafted him, the Buffalo Bills. He criticized everyone from the players to their fans, tweeting, “Wonder how you Bills fans gonna feel when the team is moved? LOL” and then this gem, “Can you say Toronto Bills!” With rumors swirling about the uncertainty of the future of the Bills in Buffalo, ‘Hitner’ cut former players and fans where it hurts the most. Case in point, former Bills linebacker Darryl Talley, who became enraged after a scathing comment was made about his daughter, Alex: 

     It continues, (Via twitter) a Browns fan then asked, “did you smash their daughter or something lol” Donte’s response, “Correct”.

After, Donte challenged the former linebacker to a boxing match and exchanging expletives on twitter, all has been quiet on the Western New York front, for now. Rest assured on a cold November 30th  when the Browns come rolling up to Ralph Wilson Stadium, it’s going to be on and poppin'; and no matter who you'll be routing for on that day or whether you dislike or condone his swagger. One thing is for sure, the safety you love to hate, will return, the infamous bad guy, 'HITNER' 


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