Unusual Athlete Name Changes
In 2011, Ron Artest officially became Metta World Peace and commented, "Changing my name was meant to inspire and bring youth together all around the world." Three years later, the youth may need to come together again. World Peace, the newest member of the Chinese Basketball Association's Sichuan Blue Whales, announced on the Chinese social media site that a "new Chinese name is coming soon."
Names in sports are malleable objects. They are subject to the forces of Anglicization (Orestes "Minnie" Minoso), Braziliacization ("Pele"), typographical error (see the revised "Edinson" Volquez, with the correct two n's), religious conversion (Muhammad Ali), ostensible maturation (Adam "Don't Call Me Pacman" Jones) and holy matrimony (Justine Henin, then Henin-Hardenne, and now back again). Here are the more inspired renamings.