Terry Crews has personal experience with racial profiling.
After tackling the topic in a powerful episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine
on Tuesday, the 48-year-old actor sat down with Hip Hollywood
to open up about a racially motivated run-in that he had with police, back in his NFL days.
"I was a pulled off a flight by the police in front of everybody," Crews said before explaining that cops assumed he was a drug dealer, "simply because I paid for my ticket with cash."
Once Crews told the officers that he was an NFL player, he said, they asked for his autograph.
The humiliating experience left Crews wondering what could’ve happened if he hadn't been a professional athlete.
"I could not believe what I was experiencing," he continued. "It was really strange, walking back on the airplane. Everyone was like ‘What is wrong with this guy?' But all I could think about [was] 'What if I wasn’t a football player?'"
Crews was able to pull from his own story for the Brooklyn Nine-Nine episode centered around his character (who is a cop) getting stopped by a fellow officer.
"The fact that we're dealing with serious subjects makes the show funnier, because you know we're not afraid to go there," he added.
Of course, Crews isn't the only black celeb to be racially profiled by police. In March, GRAMMY winner Wyclef Jean was detained
by Los Angeles sheriffs who mistook him for a robbery suspect.