The Pro Football Hall of Fame's mission is to honor the heroes of the game, preserve it's history, promote its values, and celebrate excellence everywhere. Terrell Owens believes the voters went against this mission when it came to him waiting three years to get his gold jacket.
Owens addressed the crowd honoring him at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga about why he was there instead of Canton. The former 49ers star says he "wanted to make a stand" for future players.
"My character has been heavily challenged and questioned for many years, but today I stand here to put truth to power ... or power to truth," Owens said. "I want to address the elephant in the room. Many of you may be wondering why we're here instead of Canton. There's been a lot of speculation and false reports as to why I chose not to be there. I would like to set the record straight.
"It's not because of how many times it took me to be voted into the Hall. It's about the mere fact that the sports writers are not in alignment with the mission and core values of the Hall of Fame. These writers disregarded the system, the criteria, and bylaws in which guys are inducted and ultimately the true meaning of the Hall of Fame and what it represents.
"I wanted to make a stand so the next guy coming after me will not have to go through what I and others have gone through. Whether it's three years or 45 years, you should get what you rightfully earned."
Owens wasn't done there. After making a statement to the writers, he made a loud one to those who have doubted him.
"To the critics and doubters, to the individuals who have smiled in my face but defamed me behind my back, you know who you are."
Watch Owens explain why he skipped the traditional Hall of Fame induction:
Terrell Owens Hall of Fame Speech at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga where he address why he is boycotting Canton tonight@terrellowens has no regrets about skipping HOF induction; takes shot at voting sports writers@6abc@espn@NFL#TerrellOwens#Eagles#FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/tMChKUVUX9— Jeff Skversky 6abc (@JeffSkversky) August 4, 2018