Former NFL Star Loses Daughter
Former NY Jets wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson announced that his daughter Maia has died. She was only 25.
“Maia, as my first born child, has been the joy of my, and her Mother Shikiri’s, life,” Johnson, 48, wrote on Twitter. “She came into our lives just as we were both coming of age as adults and has been a constant beloved presence for both of us. We are heartbroken and devastated by her loss.”
Maia is Johnson’s first child with ex-wife Shikiri Hightower. They were married from 1998-2002, and also share a son Keyshawn Jr. In addition, Johnson has three other children with his current wife, Jennifer Conrad — London, Shyla and Vance according to TMZ.
“Shikiri, Maia’s siblings, our family, and me appreciate your thoughts and prayers at this difficult time,” Johnson’s statement continued. He did not reveal a cause of death.
Johnson played 11 seasons in the NFL before retiring in 2007. He currently serves as an NFL analyst on ESPN’s NFL Live and co-hosts ESPN Radio’s weekday morning show, Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin with Jay Williams and Zubin Mehenti.
The Professional Sports World Shares Condolences
After Johnson’s announcement and his daughter’s passing. Sports fans and several of Johnson’s colleagues took to social media to share their condolences.
ESPN’s statement read: “Our thoughts are with Keyshawn and his family as they deal with this unthinkable tragedy. He has the full support of his ESPN family.”
Moreover, Johnson’s ESPN colleague Louis Riddick tweeted: “I am so very sorry Keshawn,” he wrote. “That is devastating and heartbreaking to hear. From my family to yours…our deepest and most sincere condolences brother.”
Fans Offer Up Some Wisdom to Keyshawn Johnson
No loss is easy, especially the loss of a child who left too soon. Fans issue statements of support as Johnson and his family grieve.
“Oh man, that’s heavy, but you don’t have to carry it alone. We might be strangers, but we’re all here for you. I’m sorry for your loss, I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child.”
Johnson was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1996 NFL draft, selected by the New York Jets. Later, He played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys, and the Carolina Panthers.