(Simon Hofmann/Bongarts/Getty Images)

The WWE is headed to the United Arab Emirates on Thursday to put on a three-show tour in Abu Dhabi, but there’s one superstar who will not be making the journey. The company’s first openly gay wrestler, Darren Young, was intentionally left off the card, according to WWE, because of his sexuality. Like much of the Middle East, the UAE has a poor track record when it comes to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender populations, which is why, according to WWE, Young’s been left off the card.

“Unfortunately, WWE cannot change cultures and laws around the world, and thus we did not send Fred Rosser [Darren Young’s real name] to the United Arab Emirates for our upcoming events for his own protection,” read the statement given to WrestlingInc.com’s Marc Middleton on Tuesday night.

Young, who came out in 2013, tweeted his discontent earlier Tuesday, implying that if WWE feels forced to leave him out of its events in a certain countries, then WWE shouldn’t travel to those countries to perform.

“Why do we bring the best entertainers into a country [sic] like Abu Dhabi and they look down upon women and gays? I get it! #MillionsofDollars,” Young’s tweet, which was later deleted said. (Uproxx has a screenshot of the deleted missive.)

The tweet was likely deleted because it criticized WWE, rather than the region of the world Young was not invited to travel to. WWE made clear in its statement that it “fully supports (Young’s) right to express his views on personal social media accounts,” but not on any of WWE’s corporate platforms.

Young continued to tweet in protest, this time leaving WWE’s business practices out of his statements. His views quickly turned confessional, however, which led to an outpouring of support from the locker room and WWE fans, who greeted Young with the same open arms as when he first came out in 2013.

Several pro wrestlers, including former WWE superstars Lance Storm and Sean Waltman, both tweeted their support for Young, as did many WWE fans.

What’s happening to Young is unquestionably messed up, but it also sets a dangerous precedent. While in some sense it might seem admirable that WWE is looking out for the safety of its only openly gay performer, in another sense, it’s cowardly not to let him make his own decision. By taking that right away from Young, WWE is tacitly complicit in upholding the UAE’s inhumane laws against gays.

Think about it this way: What would happen if FIFA, a behemoth international sports organization (opposed to a modestly sized American athletic theatrical troupe), didn’t allow gay soccer players or openly gay fans to play in or watch the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, a Middle Eastern country with an equally deplorable human rights record?

Perhaps the more appropriate question is the one Young posed then deleted. Why are organizations holding events that are supposed to be open to all in countries that don’t welcome all? #MillionsofDollars might be enough to sway the WWE. And maybe #BillionsofDollars are enough to convince FIFA. There’s no amount of money, however, that will convince fans, though, and they’re — we’re — priceless.