WASHINGTON—Responding to widespread criticism from an increasing majority of Americans who find the team’s moniker offensive, Washington Redskins officials announced Wednesday that they were legally granted the right to use the name by the 1807 Treaty of Blackwater Creek. “What critics fail to understand is that the Redskins name was originally approved by Native American tribes in an effort to make peace with early settlers,” said franchise owner Daniel Snyder, explaining that the 19th-century Iroquois gave their blessing to use the Redskins logo in exchange for bolts of cloth, copper kettles, and various food supplies. “Our team’s identity is not only a source of pride for our players, coaches, and fans, but also symbolizes a promise we made over two centuries ago at Fort Elmsley. To abandon it now would simply dishonor all the distinguished Native American elders who came together at Blackwater Creek and helped forge that great and historic concord.” Snyder added that the treaty also contained a provision in which all Native American tribes agreed that no future U.S. government agency could ever revoke the Washington Redskins’ trademark protection.

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