The Seattle Kraken have decided to delete a number of Tiktok videos of veteran forward Alex Wennberg that seemingly leaned into the “BookTok” community, which began to sexualize him.
For those who don’t know, the BookTok community is a subsection of TikTok that typically focuses on book reviews and recommendations.
That in itself seems completely harmless. However, a number of people inside this niche community began to focus on hockey romance novels, with some users fixating on real-life NHL players instead of fictional characters.
Wennberg was one of those players, and he quickly became a hit name in this BookTok community. And the Kraken, likely seeing this as a marketing opportunity, actually leaned into this trend at first.
A Tiktok user by the name of KierraLewis75 posted a video back in May of the Kraken gifting her a custom jersey with the name “Booktok” on the back of the jersey.
However, they changed their stance on the matter after fans reportedly began sexually harassing him and his family over their romantic novel obsessions.
Wennberg’s wife, Felicia Wennberg, took to Instagram to issue a statement on that matter, saying that the comments she has seen towards her husband were “inappropriate” and that it would “never be okay” if the genders were flipped in this situation.
I think Felicia Wennberg is an amazing woman and I hope you guys take some time to read what she has to say and reflect on how some of the things you say publicly make actual people feel pic.twitter.com/9f05uwOqbN
— Nicole (@NicoleCutmore) July 28, 2023
“What doesn’t sit with me is when your desires come with sexual harassment, inappropriate comments and the fact that, with the Internet, we can normalize behavior that would never be OK if we flipped the genders around to a guy doing this to a female athlete,” she wrote via ESPN.
The Kraken clearly took notice of this message, deleting any posts on their TikTok account that referenced BookTok in any way on Monday.
Seattle did not offer any statement on the matter of their own, but it seems like at the very least they will not be encouraging this kind of sentiment on their social media posts any longer.