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A parent’s worst nightmare comes true…

Super Bowl XXXVII - Super Bowl XXXVII - Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Oakland - January 26, 2003

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The idea of a parent burying a child is beyond heartbreaking. That’s just not the way it’s supposed to happen. Sadly, we often don’t get what we think is “supposed” to happen. Life is as precious as it is unpredictable and those two things are an inseparable part of what makes each day so valuable.

That said, it hurt our hearts last night to read the following announcement from former NFL-baller and current ESPN analyst Keyshawn Johnson about his 25-year-old daughter Maia.

“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.”

Keyshawn continued, “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 obviously didn’t go into any details about how Maia passed away and we can only pray that it wasn’t through painful or tragic means. With so many crazy things going on in the world we realize that people will begin to speculate but we’d ask that you be respectful and show compassion to Keyshawn and his family by not making assumptive comments on social media.

Johnson played 11 seasons with the NFL and was the No.1 overall pick straight out of USC before embarking on his career with the New York Jets in 1996.

Keyshawn’s ESPN family released the following statement upon hearing the sad news:

“Our thoughts are with Keyshawn and his family as they deal with this unthinkable tragedy. He has the full support of his ESPN family.”

We echo those sentiments and wish healing for all who loved Maia as they all begin the potentially-long grieving process.

Rest in peace.

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