Former NFL WR Keyshawn Johnson 'Heartbroken' by Death of Daughter Maia

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 16, 2021

FILE - In this March 6, 2014, file photo, former NFL and Southern California receiver Keyshawn Johnson appears during the Clemson NCAA college football pro day in Clemson, S.C. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department says Johnson has been arrested after a report of a domestic dispute. A Sheriff's Department statement says deputies responded to a residence in Calabasas at 12:48 a.m. Monday, April 21, 2014, and determined the resident, subsequently identified as Johnson, and his ex-girlfriend were involved in a domestic dispute, and the resident was arrested for misdemeanor domestic battery. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt, File)
Rainier Ehrhardt/Associated Press

Former NFL wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson announced Monday his daughter, Maia, died.

"It is with incredible sadness that I have to share the news about the passing of my beautiful Daughter Maia," Johnson wrote on Twitter. "Maia, as my first born child, has been the joy of my, and her Mother Shikiri's, life. 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. Shikiri, Maia's siblings, our family and me appreciate your thoughts and prayers at this difficult time."

Johnson and Shikiri Hightower were married in 1998 and remained together until Johnson filed for divorce in 2002. They had two children, Maia and Keyshawn Jr., together.

Johnson spent 11 seasons in the NFL, making the Pro Bowl on three occasions. He was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' leading receiver in 2002, when they went on to beat the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII.

Upon the end of his playing career, the 48-year-old moved into sports media with ESPN. He regularly featured on Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown. He's presently a co-host on Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin on ESPN Radio.

"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."