The Mighty Ducks - 1
The first “The Mighty Ducks” movie raises numerous aspects of sociology in sport that will be analyzed in this paper. The two aspects of sociology in sport that were prevalent in the Mighty Ducks movie were: ethics and gender. This movie provides an example of a character who begins the story as a morally bankrupt individual with a “win at all cost” attitude. Through his experience coaching a young hockey team, Bombay learns the true meaning of sport and transforms into ethically and morally sound individual. The first installment of the Mighty Ducks trilogy also presents an interesting case of a female skater who fulfills the stereotype that girls should figure skate and boys should play hockey. However, the mere inclusion of a girl on a boys hockey team also served to challenge the stereotype at a time when women’s hockey was not nearly as accepted as it is today. The Mighty Ducks Movie provides a study into an ethical transformation, and provides examples of both conforming and challenging gender stereotypes, while providing an engaging story in which appeals to members of society young and old alike.
In the sporting world, athletes, coaches, managers, and fans face times when they must make ethical decisions. The moral values and character of the individual may be challenged during many different circumstances. Sometimes this will occur spontaneously within ones subconscious, other occasions it is thought out over a period of time. The Mighty Duck movie poses several situations in which the character’s ethics are in question.
Early in the movie, Coach Bombay is sentenced to community service in which he must coach a pewee hockey team. This suggests the idea that sport alone has the capacity to teach morality and that it can eliminate deviance. This thinking leans predominantly on the positive aspects of sport, however in doing so, the movie neglected to question the morality of the “win at all cost” mentality Bombay demonstrated in the courtroom and during his earlier playing days. Fortunately, in real life, organized hockey associations in Canada would avoid selecting a head coach who has the power to influence and mould young minds in the manner shown in the movie. If a convicted drunk driver were to be ordered to serve community service, he or she would already have demonstrated a lack of judgement and ethical standards required to coach minor hockey. “The leadership style of a coach and the strategies they employ in decision-making in the sport setting may have a direct and lasting impact youth” (Kowalski et al., 2007). Ethically, coaches must be held to a higher set of standards than average members of society. It is the standards put in place by sport organizations that is intended to ensure that all coaches meet or exceed the ethical requirements expected of them by society. Realistically, theses standards may not always be attainable, particularly in a situation shown in the movie in which financial hardships serves to limit the resources the team has available. However, the Mighty Ducks movie does raise the question of ethical standards for coaches.
Early in the movie, there is a scene in which Bombay recalls his own experience in hockey during a championship game in which he was needed to score on a penalty shot. His old coach stated to him “If you don’t make this shot you’re not only letting me down you’re letting the team down” (Walt Disney Pictures). This had a profoundly negative impact on the ethical development of Bombay at a young age lead him to the selfish, egotistical, and unethical person the viewer sees at the beginning of the film. Once Coach Bombay was assigned a youth hockey team of his own, he demonstrated this same lack of ethics by ordering a player to fake taking a high stick in order to draw a penalty and stated "If we’re going to cheat we have to make the fall look real" (Walt Disney Pictures). While this...
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