Former Jets star wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson announced Monday (March 15) that his oldest daughter, Maia, had died. She was only 25.
Keyshawn Johnson is living every parent’s nightmare. The former NFL player and current ESPN analyst is mourning the death of his eldest daughter Maia. She was only 25 years old.
Taking to his social media accounts to share the sad news, the 48-year-old former athlete admitted he’s “heartbroken” and “devastated” by the loss of his daughter. “It is with incredible sadness that I have to share the news about the passing of my beautiful Daughter Maia,” he wrote on Monday, March 15.
“Maia, as my first born child, has been the joy of my, and her Mother Shikiri’s, life,” Keyshawn said of his late daughter. “She came into our lives just as we were both coming of age as adults and has been a constant beloved present for both of us.”
“We are heartbroken and devastated by her her loss,” he went on sharing, before thanking everyone for their support as he and his family are grieving Maia’s death. “Shikiri, Maia’s siblings, our family and me appreciate your thoughts and prayers at this difficult time. We also all appreciate your support and respect for our privacy as we move forward. Thank you all, God Bless. Keyshawn Johnson, Sr.,” he concluded his statement.
Messages of condolences have since poured in from his pals and social media followers. ESPN released a statement in support of Keyshawn, saying, “Our thoughts are with Keyshawn and his family as they deal with this unthinkable tragedy. He has the full support of his ESPN family.”
Keyshawn didn’t divulge the cause of his daughter’s death. Maia was his first child with his ex-wife Shikiri Hightower. Together, the former couple, who was married from 1998-2002, also has a son named Keyshawn Johnson Jr. Shikiri, a fashion entrepreneur and studied broadcast journalism at USC, gave birth to Maia when she was a 19-year-old student at USC and Keyshawn was 22.
In December 2017, Shikiri shared a message on Instagram Story to mark her daughter Maia’s 22nd birthday. “We were so young, wanting nothing more than to be your parents,” she reflected on giving birth to her daughter at a young age. “Four months later, your dad became the number one draft pick, our lives were forever changed. We went from inconspicuously driving you around campus in a beat up used Honda to life in a fish bowl, all eyes on us, without us truly understanding what that meant. Our once private dysfunction was suddenly on blast, all of it playing out as folk’s entertainment.”
In the post, she called Maia “my fearless, beautiful, intelligent, well-traveled, resourceful daughter,” and “my mini-me.” She added, “Throughout our journey, we literally have been growing up, figuring life out, together.”
Keyshawn has two other children, London and Vance, with his current wife Jennifer Johnson, whom he married in 2014.
Sending condolences to the entire Johnson family.