Its context. I’ve never jumped on the wave that non-blacks, especially whites, can’t say the N word. I grew up in a diverse city and my college is also very diverse. I’m aware that people become products of their environment, so a white guy saying the N word, depending on its context, doesn’t strike me in any type of way. Plus, is he saying Ni.gg.a or N.igg.er? You can probably just not defend him. 1) he sounds like a grown man who can defend himself and 2) only he knows his intentions, so everything else is up to misinterpretation. Frankly, don’t give people in life extra explanations.