A federal judge has denied a group of New England Patriots fans in their bid to prevent the National Football League from imposing its Deflategate penalty by taking the team’s first-round choice at this month’s NFL Draft.
In an order dated Friday, US District Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV refused to grant a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction that would block the NFL from taking the pick during the draft, which starts April 28.
The order said it “appears highly unlikely that plaintiffs will succeed on the merits of any of their claims.” The suit was filed in US District Court in Boston.
Saylor denied the request without a hearing and wrote that such a taxpayer-funded proceeding “would not be a prudent expenditure” of the court’s limited resources.
Among the plaintiffs is a lifelong fan from Connecticut who said his 7-year-old daughter will no longer accompany him to Patriots games, which she now believes are fixed.
The complaint filed in the suit argued that there has never been any proof behind the allegations that the team deliberately deflated footballs.
The league and Commissioner Roger Goodell relied on “false premises and biased ‘investigations’ and untrue ‘facts’ ” before stripping the team of its pick, according to a complaint in the case.
The suit accused Goodell and the league of “common law fraud, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and racketeering, among other claims.”