Al Roker Shares Video of Son Nick That Brought Him 'Moment of Peace' amid George Floyd Protests
The Today show anchor's son Nick, 17, is the principal cross bearer on the worship team at his church
Amid nationwide unrest and turbulence, Al Roker shared with his followers a "moment of peace" brought to him by his 17-year-old son Nick.
On Sunday, the Today weatherman posted two videos on Instagram of Nick taking part in Pentecostal procession at St. James' Church on Manhattan's Upper East Side.
"Pentecost Sunday," wrote Roker, 65. "Nick Roker part of #pentecostal #procession at @stjameschurchnyc this morning."
"With so much pain and suffering, and knowing that my boy, along with so many other young, black men is at risk, this brought me a moment of peace this morning," he captioned the second video, adding the hashtags: #georgefloyd and #icantbreathe.
The powerful posts came as protests sparked by the death of George Floyd unfold across the country. The demonstrations began earlier last week in Minneapolis when footage of Floyd — an unarmed black man who died after a white police officer pinned him to the ground with a knee on his neck — began circulating online. In the video, three other cops stood by as Floyd said repeatedly he couldn't breathe and pleaded for the officer to stop.
All four officers were fired last week, and Derek Chauvin, the officer who knelt on Floyd's neck, was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter on Friday. Outraged Americans have continued to storm their cities in dissent of police brutality and systemic racism.
"I've got an almost 18-year-old son, and I've had to have this conversation with him," Roker said. "If you're stopped by the police, you are polite, you are quiet, you just say yes, you say no, you don't get belligerent."
"I don't breathe a sigh of relief until Nick walks in that door because I am afraid of what could happen. He's in this New York City subway system, police officer, something happens, and I think this [death of George Floyd] brought that to a head."
In the article, Roker explained that their son is "somewhere on the spectrum and maybe obsessive-compulsive" — but despite the challenges he faces, Roker said Nick never lets his developmental delays get in the way of doing what he loves.
"Do I get frustrated with my son sometimes? You bet," Roker wrote. "But then I remember my dad, how understanding he was. And Deborah reminds me that I have to show my son not only that I love him but that I like him as well. More than that, I admire him."
Roker also said that St. James has become a vital place for the teen, who serves as its principal cross bearer on the worship team.
"St. James does a good job of getting kids involved. There are sermons for kids, children's choirs, Sunday school, playgroups, a Christmas pageant with parts for everybody as well as that corps of acolytes. On Sundays when I was feeling really down about Nick — wondering where our son would find his place in this world — I found it a comfort to note that some of the acolytes also had special needs. One performed his duties in a wheelchair; another had Down syndrome," he said. "Nick watched and wanted to join them. And the folks who oversaw the acolytes were happy to have him."