Former NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens addressed a crowd of about 3,000 family, friends, and fans from McKenzie Arena at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga on Saturday as one of the newest members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He opted out of participating in the official induction ceremony on Saturday and the events that preceded it.

During the speech, the 44-year-old Owens thanked those who supported him and explained why he decided against attending the ceremony about 500 miles north in Canton, Ohio.

"There's been a lot of speculation and false reports as to why I chose not to be [in Canton],'' Owens said. "I would like to set the record straight. It's not because how many times it took me to be voted to the Hall. It's about the mere fact that the sportswriters are not in alignment with the mission and the core values of the Hall of Fame.''

Owens also acknowledged the rest of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2018 during his speech.

"To my fellow Hall of Famer members, Bob Bethard, Robert Brazille, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Ray Lewis, Brian Urlacher, and 'The Freak' Randy Moss, I want to say congratulations to you guys,'' Owens said. "I have already reached out to you guys individually, and I expressed, and I will express it again, my utmost respect for each of you and for what we have accomplished. We are eight of 318 of the greatest players to ever play the game, and that's truly amazing.''

You can watch Owens' entire speech below or from ESPN's YouTube page.