Marcos Painter claims referee Peter Walton swore at him during Saturday's south coast derby defeat by Southampton.
The Brighton defender alleges the referee made the remarks when the visitors protested the decision to award Southampton a penalty for Lewis Dunk's foul on Jose Fonte.
The incident appeared to take place at least a yard outside the box and television replays only further infuriated the Albion players and coaching staff.
To add salt to the wounds veteran defender and assistant manager Mauricio Taricco was then sent off for using abusive language.
Painter told The Sun: "We watched it back and it was way outside the area - how he's come to that decision I don't know.
"You are going to make a point of disagreeing with the decision. Week-in, week-out you see it, language is used and, to me, that's football.
"Maybe Tano's temper got the better of him and maybe he got sent off for using language he shouldn't. But are refs allowed to talk to us in the same fashion?
"If Tano got sent off for using language, it's the same situation - although obviously the ref can't send himself off.
"He spoke to me in that way - it was language you wouldn't expect from a referee. I don't understand that if he can send someone off, how can he use it?"