8:50 AM PT -- Owens just sent us a statement saying, "I just want to be clear, my racism experiences were more with Mariucci and not under the current ownership with the 49ers."
He added, "Jed York and I along with the current organization has been very gracious and on good terms."
Terrell Owensis adamant he experienced "systemic racism" in the NFL during his time with the San Francisco 49ers ... and he seems to be pointing the finger at coach Steve Mariucci.
The 46-year-old Hall of Famer was explaining to TMZ Sports why he believes he was "blackballed" from the league 9 years ago ... when he made the bombshell allegation.
"I could've still continued to play but because I was outspoken, because of who I was, I wasn't allowed the opportunity."
"Because I was outspoken. Because of who I was and because of some of the coaches that said things behind closed doors and got in the ears of these owners, that's why I wasn't able to really continue on with my career."
"To me, that was systemic racism. I experienced it when I was in San Francisco under coach Mariucci. I experienced it. Trust me, I experienced it."
When asked, Owens wouldn't get into specifics -- but says his reputation suffered as a result of what happened during his time in SF.
"There's a lot of media that portray me a certain way to where now even people think I'm this bad person. That I'm a character, I'm selfish, all these things. But, at the end of the day, I knew who I was and I just kept moving forward."
We reached out to Steve Mariucci to see if he would address TO's allegations but so far, no word back.
No comment from the 49ers -- but a team source tells us the organization believes they're on great terms with TO ... pointing to the fact Owens has returned several times over the years to be honored by the team.