On Monday former NFL star Keyshawn Johnson took to social media to share he was in the throes of a parent’s worst nightmare, the loss of a child.
“It is with incredible sadness that I have to share the news about the passing of my beautiful [d]aughter Maia. Maia, as my first been child, has been the joy of my, and her [m]other Shikiri’s life.” Johnson wrote.
Johnson went on to say his family is “heartbroken” and “devastated” over his 25-year-old daughter’s death.
“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.”
“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.”
Johnson, an ESPN football analyst and former Jets star wide receiver, did not reveal Maia’s cause of death.
ESPN released a message of support for Maia’s family and loved ones.
“Our thoughts are with Keyshawn and his family as they deal with this unthinkable tragedy,” ESPN said in a statement. “He has the full support of his ESPN family.”
Maia’s mom Shikiri Hightower, shared photos of her daughter on her Instagram Stories. She has understandably not yet released a statement.
A 2017 post from Hightower celebrating Maia’s 22nd birthday shows the close relationship between the two.
Johnson and Hightower met while she was a sophomore at the University of Southern California (USC). They married in 1998 and divorced in 2002. Their union produced two children, Maia, 25 and Keyshawn Johnson Jr., 22.
Johnson has three younger children with his current wife Jennifer Conrad — London, Shyla and Vance.
Johnson was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1996 NFL draft from of USC. Over the course of his 11 season in the NFL Johnson played with four teams and won a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2002.
Notable celebrities like Magic Johnson, YouTube creator Cameron Macgruder, and a fan page for USC athletes sent Johnson their condolences on social media.