The Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, Pa., was expected to draw 200,000 visitors and 1,200 exhibitors at its weeklong event in February, but "Hordes of hunting industry manufacturers and TV personalities are thumbing their noses at one of the country's largest sports show promoters because the event is taking a hard stance on, among other things, modern sporting rifles," the website deeranddeerhunting.com said.
Cabela's, a major hunting and fishing retailer, withdrew its sponsorship of the event, the website phillynews.com reported.
Cole, host of an outdoor-oriented television program called Blitz TV, said in a Twitter comment Sunday he and his program do "not support the recent decisions made by Eastern Sports Show management."
Cole had been expected to sign autographs at a Blitz TV booth during the exposition, spokesman Jim Clinton said, confirming that the player withdrew because of the rifle ban.
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