If it was intentional, says Kyle Brookings, it demonstrates why rainbow crosswalks have been painted on streets across Canada and the United States in the first place.
“Because it just goes to show how far we still have to go before everybody is accepted,” said Brookings, a 25-year-old from Corner Brook who ran for city council in the last municipal election and is gay.
A dash cam video posted via a personal Facebook account on July 15 begins just as the driver stops to allow two people to cross the street at the rainbow pride crosswalk just outside city hall.
A woman walks straight across the road, while the man slightly trailing her seemingly avoids walking on the rainbow paint and then appears to intentionally spit on the crosswalk.
Whether this was an act of aggression against the pride movement, or simply an unfortunate coincidence, was a matter of debate between commenters on the Facebook page, where the video had received thousands of views and hundreds of comments.
Though some have maintained the man could have been upset at literally anything in that moment, or just happened to spit on the ground without realizing where it was being directed, many others were convinced his body language suggested otherwise.
Brookings acknowledged the debate, but said, when he viewed the video, the gesture seemed deliberate to him.
“It really looks like that was his intention, to do his part to deface the pride crosswalk,” he said.