Bettis and his brother John own 51 percent of a trucking company, IntegrServ, which had an agreement with EQT as part of the company's push to use minority-owned businesses. The lawsuit claims EQT terminated its contract with IntegrServ before striking a new deal with two of Bettis' white partners.
The lawsuit is seeking $66 million in damages for violation of the Civil Rights Act.
"We brought the lawsuit to fight for what is right," Bettis said. "I have to stand up and say something when I see what I believe to be racial injustice. I am calling it out because it's wrong and the time is now to do something about it."
EQT has denied the claims while noting, "Integrserv mismanaged its fulfillment of the contract, which led to numerous safety failures."
The energy company is based on Pittsburgh and claims itself as the largest producer of natural gas in the nation.
Bettis spent 10 years of his 13-year NFL career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, helping the team bring home a Super Bowl title after the 2005 season. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015.