My department began setting up a Fantasy Football League, which I impulsively signed up for. I admitted to the person setting up I do not know much about Football, nor watch it, but was encouraged to create a team anyway.

As I begin doing research, I remembered I have personal moral conflicts with the NFL. For clarity's sake, there is a certain NFL team that has a history of offending my cultural beliefs. After reflecting, I realized I cannot, in good conscience, participate in something that I feel is promoting values that go against my own.

My problem is that I joined a 10-Member league. When we were at 9 members, the person running it mentioned he'll likely need to remove himself from the league for balance. I worry that removing myself from my work's league may upset the organization and create negative reactions with my team members. It was difficult to get to 10 members. I'll be concerned if they would be able to recruit a member before the league starts.

What can I do to leave the league while mitigating any negative feelings?

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    I feel I worded my last comment badly. I don't think it does, because fantasy still contributes to promoting opposing moral beliefs. I've heard fantasy players bought merchandise from the team I have conflicts with because they were a part of their winning roster. I also feel it influences higher NFL viewership, which I feel further enforces the opposing values are okay. – Russ Wilkie Sep 3 '20 at 15:58

Let the organizer know that you will not be able to participate this season as soon as possible so that they have as much time as possible to make whatever arrangements are necessary to fill your spot. Thank them for the invitation and apologize for the short notice of your unavailability. If asked why you cannot participate, I would not mention the offensive issue that you have with the NFL as that is likely to invite discussions/arguments that really have no place in the workplace. You can say something like:

I am no longer interested in participating.

If any coworker has negative feelings because you cannot participate in a fantasy football game, that is their problem not yours.

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    @JoeStrazzere This is basically the same than when you are being recruited and they ask you why and you answer "I wanted to find new opportunities". It's a white lie to avoid saying bad stuff that will make you look bad. – Walfrat Sep 3 '20 at 13:47
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    @JoeStrazzere The OP may get lucky and not get asked why he is leaving, but if he does he needs to say something if he wants a graceful exit. The real reason will likely backfire. – sf02 Sep 3 '20 at 13:48
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    I do not feel it is a lie. Fact: he do not want to participate to Fantasy Football because he is not interested to invest time because of the moral conflicts. Statement: he do not want to participate to Fantasy Football because he is not interested to invest time. The statement seems true? – Sebastien DErrico Sep 3 '20 at 13:51
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    I agree with @JoeStrazzere that the given statement is at best bending the truth. The excuse given should be a more general version of the truth, something like "I thought about it and it's not really the thing for me, so I'd like to bow out" – Evan M Sep 3 '20 at 21:03

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