There are absolutely situations where the usage of ‘thug’ can be a dog whistle.
Whether it’s a dog whistle whoever a white person uses the word to talk about a black person is a bit harder to parse.
I wouldn’t use the word, myself, but I do think that Ja Morant is (uncontroversially) acting like a bellend.
I like bellend. Good word.
Not really. Do you know what it means? I think I'd rather be called a thug.
Anyway, Paul Pierce weighed in:
I don’t care what y’all say about Ja I carried a gun after I was stabbed y’all don’t know what he going thru everyone got something to say until u really know what’s really going on in someone life when u black and rich u a target period
I think that Paul's opinion disregards a lot of the problem. Morant doesn't seem to be carrying a gun for protection. Rather, he and his friends seem to be carrying guns to threaten and intimidate other people, and to show off on social media.
I think carrying guns in public should be illegal, period, but it's not. So, I understand an argument that rules against carrying on road trips are too restrictive (despite that being the current rule). But, that's separate and apart from the wisdom of a young man who has had three recent incidents involving assaults, threats, etc., even before the gun video.