Sunderland defender Titus Bramble was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of rape, a police source said.
Bramble, 29, was arrested with another man in the early hours in connection with an incident at a hotel in Newcastle, northern England.
"Police received reports of a rape at a city centre hotel in the early hours of this morning," Northumbria Police said in a statement.
"Two men, aged 29 and 30, have been arrested on suspicion of rape."
Former Newcastle United defender Bramble signed for Sunderland from Wigan Athletic for an undisclosed fee in the summer. He did not feature in his team's 2-1 League Cup third round defeat by West Ham United on Tuesday.