This photo, of two unidentified people (apparently) making out on the street surrounded by riot cops, is just about the only good thing to emerge from Vancouver's intense hockey riots, which erupted last night following the Canucks' Stanley Cup loss.
And yet, there are doubters. (Of course! It's the Internet!) Another photo, seen below, has been circulating as "proof" that the photo was staged (possibly by artists).
But The Atlantic Wire tracked down the photographer behind the shot, Getty's Richard Lam, to get his take. And while he says he doesn't want to "speculate," he doesn't seem to think it was a set-up:
"What you don't see in the frame is that 20 feet beyond is the mounted [police] squad, on horseback. I don't think they were in any mood for people to be playing around setting something up like this. There were dogs too. I wasn't hanging around at all, it was chaos. Maybe someone had a really brilliant idea to do it, I don't know. I don't want to speculate... The police line had just moved, there was tear gas, people were getting pepper sprayed, there was a lot going on."
In fact, Lam says he thinks the woman "could have been" hurt, a theory propagated by a hockey message board poster who says she saw the couple, and that "the girl appeared to hurt her ankle."
So, no, it doesn't seem like the kiss was staged—but neither was it some spontaneous expression of sexy Canadian hetero lust amidst the fiery chaos of crust punks piggy-backing on a hockey riot. They may not even be kissing at all, just... keeping their faces really close to one another. (Of course, we'd love to hear otherwise! Let us know if you know anything else about the now-famous riot makeout.)
[The Atlantic Wire, image via Getty]