A former Navy chaplain who was disgraced by the military for his role in a protest in 2006, has weighed in on the argument over gay players being allowed to come out in the NFL, to say that he thinks the “Devil is afoot”.

Gordon Klingenschmitt said that he thought the Devil was trying to recruit children through the potential news that NFL players might start coming out as gay, and that as a result, the Devil would “punish the Christians.”

During the video posted by RightWingWatch, Klingenschmitt said: “If NFL players do come out as as gay, that would only push youth coaches to open their minds to new possibilities as what should be the path for the young, tough male athlete.

“I want to compare the genre of sports. Sports is neither good nor evil, but it can be a tool through which the Holy Spirit moves, or through which the Devil moves.

“I’m going to compare now, picture this; four NFL players coming out as gay, and then this whole youth movement of coaches recruiting children into the homosexual lifestyle, and punishing Christians because they voice an opposition to that sort of thing in the locker room.

“You’re going to punish the Christians, you’re going to recruit kids into that lifestyle; that is a demonic use of the sporting industry”.

“I think the Devil is afoot here and we need to oppose that, because it is a bad example for our children. It’s a bad moral example and it is a way that the Devil would try to punish Christians, and recruit children.”

He previously said that Republican politician Newt Gingrich was pandering to “homosexual sin” and tempted by the devil with his acceptance of same-sex marriage.

US magazine editor Jennifer LeClaire last week wrote a response to what she claimed were “threats” and “intimidation” from members of the “gay agenda”, since she wrote a previous piece saying that if there are gay players in the NFL, they shouldn’t come out.

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, formerly 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.