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Murray: "I just want everybody to feel like they're included"

The goalie is auctioning off his Stadium Series gear to benefit the LGBTQ community

by Michelle Crechiolo @PensInsideScoop / Penguins Team Reporter

After noticing that Matt Murray's equipment from last season's Stadium Series was laying around the locker room, Penguins associate equipment manager Jon Taglianetti approached the goaltender about doing something with it.

"We said, let's do something good," Murray said.

Murray and his exclusive equipment supplier Vaughn will auction his unique game-used mask, pads, glove and blocker from the Stadium Series game, as well as a personal meet-and-greet with Matt to benefit the Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh - which is dedicated to improving the quality of life and visibility of the LGBTQ community in the area.

The auction begins today and runs through Dec. 11, with bids starting at $5,000. They can be placed at mattmurray.givesmart.com.

"I only wore it a couple times," Murray said. "Went all black, which is something I don't usually do, so that was different. It's definitely a unique set of pads, for sure. It'll be a cool piece for whoever gets it and obviously the money is going to a good place. 

"I'm just thankful to Tags for the idea and (VP of Media Relations Jen Bullano Ridgley) for helping to set it up. I think it'll benefit everybody."

The winning bidder will receive four tickets to the Penguins' March 24 game against Carolina at PPG Paints Arena, which is the team's "Pride Night," and meet Matt after the game.

Murray hopes that by auctioning off his Stadium Series gear, he can not only provide extra assistance to the Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh, but bring more attention to the Penguins' Pride Night as well.

Pride Night, which is part of the NHL's season-long "Hockey is for Everyone" initiative, will focus on the LGBTQ community as the Penguins and other league teams promote safety and inclusion for all who participate in the sport.

"I've been the ambassador for Hockey is for Everyone for the team for a while, so I've gotten to spend a little bit of time with some of the people from the Delta Foundation," Murray said. 

"It's just another great cause and something that I'm passionate about. I just want everybody to feel like they're included and part of something bigger. I know hockey has done a lot to progress that mindset, but there's still a long way to go, I think. I just want to help in any way I can."

Each team has designated a Hockey Is for Everyone Player Ambassador to promote the League's broad diversity and inclusion initiatives. The Ambassador serves as a leader in the locker room, a leader in the community, and a public advocate to speak up and inspire others.

That's what Murray's late father, James, did throughout his life, working with hometown charities both personally and professionally. And that's what Matt is doing now with this and his "Saves MATTer" initiative.

"It's one of the things that really appealed to me about being an NHL hockey player growing up as a kid, was having a platform to try to do good things for the world," Murray said. "I just want to have the chance to do whatever I can." 

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