Former NFL running back Ricky Williams underwent the rare feat of changing his last name to his wife’s original surname.
Williams, whose full name is Errick Lynne Williams Jr, is a beloved legend at the University of Texas who played 11 seasons in the NFL on various teams, including the New Orleans Saints, Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens.
The quiet and shy Williams told “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” that he changed his name to Errick Miron to adopt his wife Linnea Miron’s last name. He said he wanted to create more balance in his marriage after taking an astrology-relationship class.
“I did it probably a year and a half ago, made it official. Something I’ve been thinking about and talking about, and I finally went through the steps,” Williams said on the podcast.
“I went to the Social Security office with my marriage certificate, and I went through the process,” he added. “It was quick and easy, and it felt meaningful. Really meaningful.”
While Williams’ wife is an attorney, he gets the bulk of the attention and praise due to his celebrated gridiron career. Now he believes it’s his wife’s time to shine.
“One of the ideas that popped into my mind was I can take her last name. I think it’s cool. It’s somewhere where we can both win,” he told the hosts. “I’ve found that that’s been really powerful in creating ease, intimacy and trust in my relationship.”
The former ball carrier added that the motivation was amplified by the fact that Williams is not “even really” his true last name.
“It’s one of those family secrets,” he said. “My grandma, obviously, back then you don’t say anything. And so Williams was her husband’s name, but he wasn’t my dad’s father.”
Williams added that “if you go back far enough, it’s [the] idea [that] it is a slave name, so I think what is even the purpose of a last name? And I find more meaning in this last name than Williams.”
There are some benefits to the name change.
“To me, this makes the story of Ricky Williams more interesting,” he said.