Former NFL star Keyshawn Johnson put on a brave face during one of his first public outings since announcing the death of his oldest daughter Maia, 25, on March 15.
The former Super Bowl champion, 48, was photographed holding his youngest daughter whom he shares with second wife Jennifer Conrad.
Being the attentive dad, Johnson appeared to be showering his little girl with plenty of love an attention as he helped her out in and out of her baby stroller during an afternoon out and about in Los Angeles.
Heartbroken: Former NFL star Keyshawn Johnson, 48, was spotted out spending quality time with his youngest daughter, two weeks after announcing the death of his oldest daughter Maia
Dressed in shorts, a sweatshirt and flip-flops, the former wide receiver who first starred with the New York Jets cradled his little girl his left arm as he helped fix her adorable outfit.
And in a touching and heartfelt moment, when he picked up his daughter for a picture, he said, ‘You have to keep them close to you,’ with obvious emotion.
But still, the lovely interaction elicited several big beaming smiles from the grieving dad.
Medicine for the heart: Johnson was able to flash some beaming smiles during family time
The public outing comes exactly two weeks after he shared the tragic news of Maia’s passing. She was his oldest child from his marriage to Shikiri Hightower.
The former couple, who were married from 1998 to 2002, also have a 22-year-old son, Keyshawn Johnson Jr.
‘It is with incredible sadness that I have to share the news about the passing of my beautiful daughter Maia,’ Johnson began in his statement shared on social media.
‘Maia, as my first born child, has been the joy of my, and her mother Shikiri’s, life.’
Trafic: Johnson shared the sad news of his oldest daughter’s death March 15
Light of their lives: The former NFL star said daughter Maia Hightower-Johnson was the joy of his and her mother’s life in a social media statement
Johnson, who now works for ESPN as a NFL analyst and radio host, added: ‘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.’
He ended by showing appreciation ‘for all the support and respect for our privacy as we move forward. Thank you all, God Bless.’
At last check, Johnson and is family are still awaiting autopsy results to determine an official cause of death.
Family heartbreak: Johnson said he was ‘heartbroken and devastated’ over the death of Maia; she is pictured (right) with her mother and Johnson’s ex-wife Shikiri Hightower
First born: Maia (left) was Johnson’s first child with ex-wife Shikiri Hightower (right), whom he was married to from 1998 and 2002
Johnson’s other child with his first wife, Keyshawn Jr., also took to social media to pay tribute to his sister.
‘I lost the one person in my life that is full blood,’ the 22-year-old wrote alongside a series of pictures of the siblings.
‘I lost my big sister Maia. Maia was undoubtedly my biggest role model growing up. I wanted to be nothing but a clone of her. I always thought she was the coolest person, had the coolest clothes, listened to the best music. I don’t know what I’m going to do without you.’
Along with his years as a Jet in New York, Johnson also played with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he won his Super Bowl ring, Dallas Cowboys and Carolina Panthers before retiring in 2006.
Champion! Johnson is pictured with his late daughter, Maia, when he and his Tampa Bay Buccaneers won Super Bowl XXXVII in January 2003