1/6 FILE - This June 19, 2012 file photo shows Miami Dolphins player Chad Ochocinco, who recently changed his name back to Chad Johnson, talking to the media after NFL practice in Davie, Fla. The Dolphins terminated the six-time Pro Bowl receiver's contract about 24 hours after he was arrested in a domestic battery case involving his wife. Johnson was released from jail on $2,500 bond earlier Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, after his wife accused him of head-butting her during an argument in front of their home. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter, File) Chad Johnson to Chad Ochocinco to Chad Johnson: In 2008 the NFL player legally changed his name to Chad Javon Ochocinco. Then in 2012 the former NFL player decided to go back to his original name. 2/6 Cameron F. Awesome. Photo courtesy of Facebook. Lenroy Thompson to Cameron F. Awesome: U.S. amateur boxer Lenroy Thompson recently changed his name to Cameron F. Awesome and now goes by Cam Awesome. He changed his name to show who he really is, an entertainer. 3/6 Cincinnati Bengals v Jacksonville Jaguars Maurice Drew to Maurice Jones-Drew: NFL sensation MJD went by Maurice Drew at UCLA. When his grandfather passed away during one of his games he decided to start going by his full name Maurice Jones-Drew as a way to honor him. (Getty Images) 4/6 Edson Arantes do Nacimento Edson Arantes do Nascimento to Pelé : Soccer player Pelé was named Edson Arantes do Nascimento after Thomas Edison. The origin of the nickname Pelé is unclear, but Pelé is how we know this legend. (AFP/Getty Images) 5/6 86th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Fredrick Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Jr to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was named Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Jr. after his father. When he converted to Islam he changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. (Getty Images) 6/6 FILE: Chipper Jones Announces Retirement After 2012 Season Larry Jones to Chipper Jones: Chipper’s father Larry Wayne Jones Sr. was always saying that his son was a “chip off the old block.” Thus, a nickname was born, and Larry became Chipper. (Getty Images)
Some athletes have changed their names because of religion, some just had a nickname that stuck with them, and others just do whatever they want and we can’t explain why. Here are some of the notable name changes and aliases in the world of sports.