Stop the Name-Changing: An Appeal on Behalf of Family Values

Reuben CohenContributor IJanuary 8, 2009

These days when we mention family values, we tend to think of gay marriage and abortion rights. The family values that I'm talking about are about maintaining the pride and integrity of families and their names.

Before the 2008 NFL season began, Cincinnati Bengals WR Chad Johnson (pictured above) made big news by legally changing his last name to his nickname, Ocho Cinco.

He implied it was for the purpose of selling jerseys.

I find this behavior despicable. One's name is something that should be taken very seriously, and changing it on a whim is, I believe, immoral and should not be allowed to happen.

This was not the only incident of an NFL player changing his name on a faulty premise just in this season.

In December, little known Tampa Bay defensive end Greg White announced his intentions to change his name to Stylez G. White. The incident was probably inspired by Johnson's similar announcement in August.

What White did also angers me. By changing your first name, you disgrace your parents who christened you when you were born and raised you with that one name.

However, what Johnson did is even worse.

By changing his last name, he is effectively shunning his entire ancestry who lived their lives with the name Johnson.

Johnson will also be burdening his future descendants by making them have the incredibly stupid last name of Ocho Cinco all because of one man's selfishness.

Names can carry a lot of power. Changing them suddenly as a publicity stunt is an abuse of one's own identity. To me, it shows that these men do not take life very seriously, as they're in their teams' multi-million dollar bubble while the rest of the world suffers from economic hardship.

Names can be, and hopefully are, things to respect. But as for myself, I find it difficult to respect people who willingly made their names by Chad Ocho Cinco and Stylez G. White.