When giving his Hall of Fame induction speech in Chattanooga on Saturday, former NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens said he skipped the ceremony in Canton because of sportswriters.
While speaking to the crowded McKenzie Arena at his alma mater, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Owens wanted to address a "flawed" voting system.
"There's been a lot of speculation and false reports as to why I chose not to be there [Canton]," Owens said, according to ESPN. "I would like to set the record straight: It's not because of how many times it took for me to be voted to the Hall. It's about the mere fact that the sportswriters aren't aligned with the mission and the core values of the Hall of Fame."
The 44-year-old was a finalist for the Hall for two years but wasn't selected in 2016 or 2017.
During 16 seasons in the league, Owens earned six Pro Bowl selections and had 15,934 career receiving yards.
Owens arrived to the ceremony in style, sporting a suit with the Pro Football Hall of Fame logo.
The former wide receiver's speech lasted thirty-nine minutes, where he thanked his mother for her support and even addressed a fan who shouted out "I love you, T.O."
"I love you too," Owens said before pausing, according to Sports Illustrated's Greg Bishop. "But I love me more."
In June, Owens announced that he would not attend the Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Canton.
"While I am incredibly appreciative of this opportunity, I have made the decision to publicly decline my invitation to attend the induction ceremony in Canton (Ohio)," Owens said in the statement. "... After visiting Canton earlier this year, I came to the realization that I wish to celebrate what will be one of the most memorable days of my life, elsewhere."