The corporation was forced to publish the salaries of its top talent who earn above £150,000 paid for by the licence fee.
The sports pundit, who came second in the list behind Chris Evans on £2.24m last year, was already braced for a social media backlash - which arrived right on queue soon after the news broke.
Tweeting before the reveal, he wished his followers a “happy BBC salary day” and inferred he would need the protection of a tin helmet once the figures were made public.
He had directed his critics to place their blame with “my agent and the other TV channels that pay more” for his high income.
Fans replied with their support, including Lord Alan Sugar.
But such tweets quickly became drowned out by Lineker’s critics.
The BBC’s figures also showed a large disparity in gender pay, not least seen in the earnings among the Beeb’s sports presenters.