The editor of a Christian magazine has weighed into the debate over there being no openly gay US professional athletes, said that being gay is “clearly a sin”, and that gay NFL players should not come out.

Jennifer LeClaire, news editor of Charisma magazine, a publication for pentecostal Christians, sent an email bulletin with the suggestion that gay athletes should not come out.

LeClaire wrote that gay NFL players should stay in the closet, as by coming out they would be “shining a positive light” on the “sin” of homosexuality.

“Professional sports should stay out of step. If it’s not supposed to matter whether or not an NFL player is gay, then why do we need to know about his sexual orientation? The gay agenda wants us to know because it wants to shape and mold the minds of the next generation. It’s much the same as the gay superhero drama. Shining a positive spotlight on gay role models in any industry serves to validate homosexuality, which is clearly a sin.”

She continued to say that the “radical gay agenda” was pushing a PR campaign to “recruit kids”, and questioned how Christians should respond.

“When I was a kid, watching football on Sunday afternoons was a family tradition for many on my block. But as the gay agenda makes its public relations push from all sides, expect to see more gay professional athletes coming out of the closet in 2013, especially if the US Supreme Court validates gay marriage at a federal level before football season begins.

“In an age of openly gay clergy preaching the gospel, it wouldn’t be nearly as shocking to see a muscle-bound NFL pro doing a wacky dance after scoring a touchdown. But you can bet whoever comes out first will be the poster child for the radical gay agenda’s campaigns as they seek to make all things LGBT mainstream in a nation under God that’s divided on gay marriage,” she continued.

“Where will the gay agenda go next to recruit kids who are confused about their sexual identity? How should the church respond to youth who need to know who they are in Christ so they can avoid the eternal consequences of homosexual sin?”.

In the US there is currently no openly gay player in the National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association or National Hockey League.

At the beginning of March, NFL player Scott Fujita spoke out about the issue of a lack of gay players in professional sport, and said that he thinks it would “not be an issue at all” to have a gay player in the locker room.

Brendon Ayanbadejo, of the Baltimore Ravens, the team which won this year’s Super Bowl, and Chris Kluwe of the Minnesota Vikings, also wrote an amicus brief, and filed it, urging the Supreme Court to act against legislation preventing equal marriage.

Ayanbadejo was last year involved in a controversy because he was criticised by a state delegate for speaking in favour of equal marriage.

Mr Kluwe, a punter for the Minnsota Vikings, made the headlines in September when he defended Ayanbadejo against a call from Delegate Emmett C Burns Jr, to reprimand Ayanbadejo, who recorded a video for a gay rights advocacy group In October 2011.

Ayanbadejo previously said he hoped that homophobic comments by fellow NFL player, Chris Culliver would open a positive dialogue about gay players in the NFL, and in November, upon waking to find that Maryland voters had chosen to legalise equal marriage in the state, Ayanbadejo said it was “like Christmas”.